A History of the Urologic Research Society: The First 25 Years
Michael J. Droller, M.D. and Udo Jonas, M.D.
Introduction and Initial History
It was during their return by auto from a meeting of the German Society of Experimental
Urology in Zurich in April, 1979 that Udo Jonas and Gunther Jacobi, faculty members in the
Department of Urology at the University Hospital in Mainz, Germany began to consider the
possibilities of extending discussions of urological science beyond a national level. Their thought
was that scientific investigations knew no boundaries and not to proceed in extending scientific
interactions with international colleagues could only be limiting in understanding and progress.
As soon as they returned, Udo contacted his good friend Robert (Bob) Krane (then a faculty
member at the Boston University School of Medicine) to discuss the potential opportunities to
found a Society for Urological Research which would be comprised of investigators involved in
all aspects of urologic research and not be restricted by borders, language or continents. Bob
agreed with this idea enthusiastically, and both he and Udo began to make plans and explore the
possibilities they had discussed.
At the 1980 annual meeting of the American Urological Association in Washington D.C., Udo
(now Professor and Chairman of the Department of Urology at the University of Leiden in The
Netherlands) discussed and solidified this idea further. They decided that the purpose of such a
Society would be to provide an opportunity for young investigators in urology (both physicians
and laboratory researchers) to come together and discuss urologic research in an open and
informal manner. Their hope was that this would encourage a meaningful exchange of ideas as
well as provide an opportunity for these young investigators and possibly future leaders in
urology from many countries to come together and share their interests and commitments to their
investigations. They also felt that this could provide a stimulus and basis for them to form
relationships and friendships. In turn, this would encourage further study, interchange of ideas,
and collaborative opportunities.
Udo and Bob then proceeded to identify people from the United States, Europe, and Japan as
prospective members of such a group. Though some were already established in their fields,
most were young and just at the beginning of their careers. The unifying feature was that all of
them had made a commitment to the pursuit of laboratory and clinical research in the exploration
of various problems in urology. Michael Droller, then an Associate Professor of Urology and
Oncology at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, remembers Udo approaching him during
the AUA meeting asking whether he would be interested in joining this group, attending an
annual meeting, discussing his research and participating in open discussion on its directions.
Though he accepted this invitation, he remembers being somewhat dubious since he thought
Udo’s was a somewhat vague offer and he therefore felt a bit skeptical regarding what really
would be involved and whether it would actually materialize. Furthermore, when he returned to
Baltimore after the AUA meeting, he remembers Pat Walsh asking him what this group was
about (Pat had also been approached as a prospective member) and suggested that he had doubts
about what would actually come of it.
The objectives of this new Urological Research Society were that members of this group should
be actively engaged in research, have a broad geographic distribution, be involved in and
represent the various subspecialty areas in urology, be at a formative phase in their careers, and
have already been recognized through their work and publications as being productive and show
promise of becoming leaders in their areas of interest. These objectives made this a unique
society from its very beginning. No other society fulfilled all of these requirements. Indeed, most
research societies were comprised of individuals who had already become well-established and
had already been identified as leaders in urology. None represented a broad geographic
distribution. And, though some attempted to encourage open exchange of information through
informal discussion of research presentations at their meetings, none were sufficiently informal
in their structure and through their membership to truly foster such open discussion or to
encourage constructive critiques of the work that was being done.
Within this context, 33 individuals were asked to join as founding members of what was to
become the Urological Research Society (Table 1):
Table 1: Founding members of the Urologic Research Society (1980)
Rolf Ackermann, M.D., University of Wurzburg, Wurzburg, Germany
George Bartsch, M.D., Academische Universitatsklinik, Innsbruck, Austria
William J. Catalona, M.D., Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Geoffrey D. Chisholm, M.D., University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland
Donald S. Coffey, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
B.L.R.A. Coolsaet, M.D., University of Utrecht, Utrecht,The Netherlands
Michael J. Droller, M.D., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
William R. Fair, M.D., Washington University School of Medicine, St.Louis, MO
John M. Fitzpatrick, M.D., University College, Dublin, Ireland
Reza Ghanadian, M.D., Clinical Research Laboratory, London, England
Donald P. Griffith, M.D., Baylor Univestiy School of Medicine, Houston, TX
Richard Hautmann, M.D., University of Aachen, Aachen, Germany
Yoshiko Hirao, M.D., University of Nara, Nara, Japan
Udo Jonas, M.D., University of Leiden, Leiden,The Netherlands
Tadeo Kakizoe, M.D., University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Daniel P. deKlerk, M.D., University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Robert J. Krane, M.D., Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Paul H. Lange, M.D., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Larry I. Lipshultz, M.D., Baylor University School of Medicine, Houston, TX
Michael Marberger, M.D., Academische Universitatsklinik, Vienna, Austria
Carl A. Olsson, M.D. Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY
David F. Paulsen, M.D., Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC
Philip A. Ransley, M.D., University College London, London, England
Martin I. Resnick, M.D., Case-Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Richard Schmidt, M.D., University of California, San Francisco, CA
Fritz H. Schroeder, M.D., University of Rotterdam, Rotterdam,The Netherlands
Claude A. Schulman, M.D., Hopital Erasme, Brussels, Belgium
Theo Senge, M.D., Herne Ruhruniversitat, Bochum, Germany
Mark S. Soloway, M.D., University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN
Emil A. Tanagho, M.D., University of California, San Francisco, CA
E. Darracott Vaughan, M.D., New York Hospital, New York, NY
Hermann J. de Voogt, M.D., University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Alan J. Wein, M.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
The first meeting of this new Society was held in Leiden, The Netherlands and was hosted
by Udo Jonas and his wife, Britta. Fifteen of the founding members attended the first meeting,
held on August 29, 1981 (Figure ). This meeting generated the beginnings of an enthusiasm for
having such a society because of the opportunities it created to meet new colleagues, discuss
research projects, and develop social interactions across international borders. Excitement of the
venue and the possibility of seeing the home city of each host added to this. Testimony of this is
seen in the first group photo of the new Society (Figure ) and a document with the signatures of
the founding members who were able to participate (Figure ). Unfortunately, the bad weather
interfered a bit in Udo being able to show the beauty of the Netherlands landscape during a
cruise on the lake “Kaag” (Figure ), but it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of all who attended
and brought this message back with them.
Following this, it became apparent to Udo that this new Society needed a logo. In the role of
Secretary, a position he held for the next 15 years, Udo asked a friend to design a logo which
would represent the concepts embodied by the group. The first draft (Figure ) was circulated to
the membership for comments and suggestions. The most original came from Don Coffey who
integrated the specific urologic symbols, facetiously added a financial component in the “$” sign,
and described the aim of the Society to represent “yoU aRe uS”.
The second meeting, hosted by Bob Krane and his wife Bambi in Boston immediately following
the AUA meeting in Kansas City in 1982, continued the momentum that the first meeting had
created and attracted both members and invited guests (Figure ). A highlight was an opening
banquet during which Don Coffey, dressed in colonial garb to represent the host city of Boston
(Figure ), performed a magic show, this setting the tone for the conviviality that was to continue
through the next day’s scientific presentations and open informal discussions. All of this
demonstrated the value of the social interactions in establishing new contacts and encouraging
productive interactions and discussions. This meeting also continued the precedent for
individuals to host the Society in their home city and at their home institutions, to underscore the
value of open and incisive discussions such as did not occur at more formal meetings, and to
allow time for social activities that encouraged opportunities for openness and the development
of new friendships.
Although these first meetings initiated the Society and created an initial momentum, its
foundation was provided a significant impetus with the third meeting, hosted by Dr. Rolf
Ackermann in Wurzburg in 1983. The charm of this city and the wonderful venues at which the
meeting and the social events were held, its taking place in the summer which allowed members
to bring their spouses and in some cases their children, and the general enjoyment overall set a
standard that would be followed at subsequent meetings.
Articles of Association
The original registration of the Association as the “Urological Research Society” was made in
the certification of an "Articles of Association" by Drs. Rolf Ackermann, Fritz H. Schroeder,
Udo Jonas and Theo Senge with the German government in Bad Windsheim, Germany on April
26, 1983 (subsequently, a translation in English was certified in Dusseldorf, Germany on June
15, 1987) (Figure ). The expressed object and purpose of the Society was "to promote
experimental and clinical research in the field of urology... to be realized by organizing an annual
meeting and by promoting the exchange of ideas and of experience gained by the members." As
a non-profit organization, the funds of the Association were to be expended exclusively to fulfill
the objectives of the Articles of Association. If the Association were ever dissolved, its funds
were to revert to the German Urological Association to be used exclusively for charitable
purposes to benefit the public.
As part of the registration process it was decided that meetings be held once a year, with
extraordinary meetings being held as necessary. Additionally, it was decided that “a majority of
three-quarters of valid votes be cast for any resolutions to change the objectives of the
Association or to amend the Articles of the Association”. Seven members signed the document
in Wurzburg on March 25, 1983. For legal purposes, it was decided that the Society should have
its seat in Wurzburg.
A preliminary presentation of by-laws stated that "any person or public body in Germany or
abroad shall be eligible for membership...(which) will be acquired on proposal in writing by
members, subject to a majority vote of a meeting of members". An Executive Committee,
comprised of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer, and Secretary was formed, to be "elected
for a two year term by a meeting of members".
Initial criteria for membership required proposal in writing by a member, subject to a majority
vote by the membership. Changes to the by-laws and to membership were to be accomplished by
a three-quarters majority membership vote.
In 1986, an expansion and formalization of By-Laws was proposed by Dr. Michael Droller
(Appendix C). The purposes of the Society were "to bring together individuals active in all areas
or research in urology...(for the) exchange of information and ideas." Membership was to
comprise several categories. Active members consisted of Charter members (as listed in the
original document) and new members, to be elected by two-thirds of the voting membership a
year after candidates had participated in the previous URS meeting. Emeritus members were
those members who had reached the age of 50. The total number of active members was
proposed to be 40.
Suggestions for the election of officers (President, President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary,
and Treasurer), creation of a Board of Directors comprised of the Executive Committee of the
Officers and five other elected members, and delineation of the duties and responsibilities were
included but not formally acted upon, pending further discussion and deliberation by the
membership. Proposals for the creation of several standing committees (By-Laws, Budget and
Finance, Membership, and Editorial) were also brought up for consideration. Recognition of the
World Journal of Urology as the official publication of the Society was also incorporated into the
proposed By-Laws.
In the ensuing years, most of the discussions at the Society's business meetings involved
selection of sites for future meetings and selection of new members, with little concern towards
formally adopting a new set of by-laws. However, because of lagging attendance at successive
meetings as the founding members assumed leadership positions in their own institutions, as
increasing personal obligations and responsibilities interfered with their attending URS meetings,
and as a proliferation of specialty meetings consumed the time of many of the younger members,
the viability of the Society was called into question. It therefore became important to re-define
certain of the processes by which the Society functioned and to re-visit the by-laws as well as the
premise for the Society's existence.
Much of the focus at this time was on the membership process, what procedures should be
followed in terminating membership of a member failed to attend a certain number of
consecutive meetings (first two, then three) without an accepted excuse, and the identification of
new young investigators in urology who would rejuvenate the Society and pursue the objectives
that had initially led to the Society's success. At the URS meeting in Brussels in 1996 the
membership decided to adopt a by-laws in which an important part would be a restructuring of
the membership process (Appendix D). It was suggested that the membership process used by
the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons be adopted for the Society, both in electing
new members and in terminating membership for failure to attend meetings of the Society. A
membership committee (Drs. Laurent Boccon-Gibod, Yoshihiko Hirao, and Michael J. Droller)
was created to review applications for new members for presentation at the next business
meeting of the Society.
A new by-laws (Appendix D), incorporating the suggestions of the membership, was reviewed at
the meeting in Quebec City in 1997. The major changes implemented included that membership
in the Society be limited to 75, that new members who had distinguished themselves in
urological research had to be less than 45, that active members who had reached the age of 55
would become fellows, and that those who reached the age of 65 would become emeritus
members. A membership committee, comprised of 5 members of the Society would review
candidates for membership, candidates would have been invited to attend a meeting of the
Society, and their election to membership would require approval by two-thirds vote of active
members attending the business meeting during which their candidacy was being considered.
Officers of the Society would comprise a President (one year term), a President-elect (one year
term), a Secretary (four year term), and a Treasurer (four year term). An Executive Council
would be comprised of the four officers of the Society, the immediate Past-President, and a
Member-at-Large elected by the active members. Standing committees included those for By-
Laws, Budget and Finance, Membership, and Nominating (replacing Editorial). These by-laws
were adopted at the 1998 meeting of the Society in Nara, Japan.
The World Journal of Urology
Having established a well-functioning scientific society with high standards, it seemed logical to
involve the members of the URS in the founding and publication of a new international journal
that would represent through publication of original and review articles the objectives of the
Society. Therefore, just before the third meeting of the Society in Wurzburg in 1983 Drs. Udo
Jonas and Robert Krane introduced The World Journal of Urology to serve as the official journal
of the Society. The members of the URS would become the Editorial Board while Udo and Bob
would become the Editors-in-Chief. Objectives of the new journal were to present basic and
clinical research in all subspecialty areas of urology with guest editors selected to lead in the
presentation of review articles and original investigations.
The Journal was successfully launched with Springer Verlag as its publisher. By 1996 its
subscriptions had reached 650-700. At this point discussions regarding possibilities of involving
the Journal with the Societe Internationale d’Urologie did not materialize.
The impact factor has ranged between 1.2-1.3, placing if fourth amongst urology journals.
Subscriptions have remained level at ~450-500 reflecting fewer library subscriptions and
increasing use of internet access.
Meetings through the First 25 Years of the URS
From the time of its establishment in 1980 and then its first meeting in Leiden in 1981, the
Urological Research Society has had 18 meetings through 2004 (Appendix B). With adoption of
its first set of by-laws in 1985 and subsequent modifications (the most recent being in 1999),
creation of the URS logo, and the launching of the World Journal of Urology in 1982 as the
official journal of the Society, the URS has become a robust Association, fulfilling its original
mission and the vision that its founders had.
This History of the Urological Research Society has been written to commemorate the Society's
celebration of its first 25 years. It has also been written in honor of Dr. Robert Krane, who
together with Dr. Udo Jonas had the vision and the leadership to found this Society. Sadly, Bob
passed away in 2003 after suffering through a short but devastating illness. This History is
dedicated to Bob in behalf of all of the members of the Society, who admired Bob as their
colleague and felt privileged to enjoy Bob as their friend.
Table 2: Urological Research Society Meetings
Leiden,The Netherlands
Boston, Massachusetts
Wurzburg, Germany
Hosts (with wives)
Dr. Udo Jonas (Britta)
Dr. Robert Krane (Bambi)
Dr. Rolf Ackermann (Christl)
Dr. David Paulsen (Pat)
Dr. George Bartsch (Heidi)
Dr. Michael Droller (Esther)
Dr. William Fair (Mary Ann)
Dr. E. Darracott Vaughan, Jr. (Anne)
Dublin, Ireland
Mr. John Fitzpatrick (Carol)
Palm Beach, Florida
Dr. Alan Wein (Christine)
Hanover, Germany
Dr. Udo Jonas (Britta)
Hilton Head, South Carolina Dr. Martin Resnick (Vicki)
Munich, Germany
Dr. Rudolf Hartung (Angela)
Ayres Rock, Australia
Dr. Villus Marshall
Brussels, Belgium
Dr. Claude Schulman
Quebec City, Quebec
Dr. Yves Fradet (Denyse)
Nara, Japan
Dr. Tadeo Kakizoe (Akiko)
Dr. Yoshihiko Hirao (Kazuko)
Bordeaux, France
Dr. Laurent Boccon-Gibod (Liliane)
Washington, D.C.
Dr. Cully Carson (Mary Jo)
Dr. Craig Donatucci
Izmir, Turkey
Dr. Ziya Kirkali (Gul)
York, United Kingdom
Seoul, Korea
Boston, Massachusetts
Durham, North Carolina
Innsbruck, Austria
New York, New York
Dr. Christopher Chapple (Mary)
Dr. Freddie Hamdy (Bettina)
Dr. Wun-Jae Kim
Dr. Hanjong Ahn
Dr. Richard Babayan (Sonya)
Meetings and Vignettes
1. Leiden,The Netherlands, August 1981 (hosted by Dr. Udo and Britta Jonas)
As described earlier, this initial meeting of the URS took place in Leiden, The Netherlands, and
was attended by 15 members. The venue was the Academic Hospital of the University of Leiden.
This was the meeting that showed how discussions at a high scientific level could take place in a
friendly and warm atmosphere and in which colleagues could gather to meet and present their
scientific work and leave as friends (Figures
2. Boston, Massachusetts, May 1982 (hosted by Dr. Robert and Bambi Krane)
At this second meeting of the URS, many of the founding members of the Society, as well as
others who had heard about this new Society, attended. The venue was the Copley Plaza Hotel.
An evening banquet was highlighted by Dr. Don Coffey’s magic tricks with Don dressed in
colonial costume to create an especially enjoyable atmosphere. Although many were a bit tired
after having attended the AUA meeting in Kansas City just before coming to Boston, they were
all able to contribute to an active scientific program held the following morning (Figures
3. Wurzburg, Germany, June 1983 (hosted by Dr. Rolf and Christl Ackermann)
This meeting was felt to establish the tone of the Society and succeeding meetings. Since it was a
summer meeting, many of the attendees took advantage of this to bring spouses, and in some
instances children, to participate in the social program. A large attendance comprised not only of
members of the Society but also of non-members made the two-day scientific session and
discussions particularly robust. The setting for the scientific program was a castle. The evening's
dinner was held in the wine cellar of the Juliuspital. The following evening's dinner was held in
the Princebishop’s Palace (Residenz) after the attendees had enjoyed a formal concert. The
dinner speech with the title “Oncogenes: Enemies or Friends in Us?” was given by Professor
Eberhard Wecker, Chairman of the Department of Immunology and the University of Wurzburg.
The tremendous enjoyability of the social program and the enthusiasm of all all of the attendees
and their spouses seemed to create the ambience of a family event even in the context of the
scientific excellence of the presentations. Together, this created a wonderful momentum for the
Society and support of its concept and objective of creating an opportunity for both scientific
exchange and meaningful social interactions to enhance the scientific purpose of the meeting
4. Durham, North Carolina, May, 1984, Dr. David and Pat Paulson
This meeting provided an additional social ambience because the receptions and dinners were
held at the home of the Paulsons and at the Searle Conference Center at Duke University
Medical Center. Proximity of the meeting to the earlier AUA meeting allowed many members
and non-members to attend and participate in the scientific program as well (Figures
The logo for the Urological Research Society as presented by Dr. Udo Jonas was approved by
the membership (Appendix E). Several new members were elected, and a number of founding
members resigned on account of their not being able to attend the Society's annual meetings with
regularity. It was proposed that members of the Society could represent the same institution as
long as their work was in different subspecialty areas, that each member could bring a guest to
participate in each meeting's scientific program, and that the host of a particular meeting could
invite an unlimited number of their home faculty. It was also proposed that a by-laws be drafted,
which would include formation of a number of committees to deal with the business of the
5. Innsbruck, Austria, June, 1985, Dr. George and Heidi Bartsch
This meeting was held in Innsbruck immediately following the meeting of the Societe
Internationale d'Urologie in Vienna. Advantage was taken of the Old World beauty of Innsbruck
by a walk through the Old Town to begin the social activities. Dr. George Bartsch arranged for a
cable car visit to the Hafelekar (8000 ft) for lunch the first day with an exhibition of hang gliders
flying down from the mountaintop to the town of Innsbruck. The group then travelled by tram to
Lans for a formal dinner. The next day, the group visited the Hofkirche (The "Blackman's"
Church) for an organ concert followed by a banquet at the Hofburg (with surrounding royal
portraits, crystal chandeliers, and all of the elegance that is part of a royal castle). All of these
encouraged the type of social interactions that enhanced the scientific sessions as well as the
informal discussions of work that was presented and ideas proposed for further study (Figures ).
At this meeting, the membership number stood at 35, with representation from 10 countries on 5
continents. Suggestions for new members were considered for invitation and participation in the
following year's meeting (planned for New York in conjunction with the AUA meeting). An
Executive Committee was formed with Dr. Udo Jonas as Chairman, Dr. Robert Krane as Vice
Chairman, Dr. David Paulson as Treasurer, and Mr. John Fitzpatrick as Secretary. A
Membership Committee chaired by Dr. Michael Droller was also formed, with further guidelines
for the membership process reviewed. A possible affiliation with the Societe Internationale
d'Urologie was deferred for later consideration.
The elegance of the social program and the involvement of spouses in the planning of the
meetings and in accompanying members to the meetings increased the warmth of interactions
and the friendships that were being formed amongst the members. This atmosphere was fostered
by the attention that Brita Jonas, Bambi Krane, Cristl Ackermann, Pat Paulson, and Heidi
Bartsch gave to the planning of the social aspects of the meetings and the warm hospitality that
they provided, establishing important precedents for subsequent meetings to follow.
6. New York, New York, May, 1986, Dr. Michael and Esther Droller, Dr.William and Maryann
Fair, and Dr. E. Darracott and Anne Vaughan, Jr.
This meeting immediately followed the annual meeting of the AUA held in New York. Hosting
was shared by Drs. Michael Droller, William Fair, and Darracott Vaughan representing Mount
Sinai Medical Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and New York Hospital-Cornell
Medical Center respectively. Most of the attendees moved from the Hilton Hotel (the AUA
convention hotel) to the Stanhope Hotel situated across the street from the Metropolitan Museum
of Art. The first night's dinner was held at the New York Yacht Club, hosted by Dr. Carl and
Mary Olsson. He, Dr. James Glenn and Dr. Don Coffey gave wonderful welcoming speeches.
After dinner, the group had an opportunity to view the America’s Cup which was on display. The
following evening a buffet dinner was served on board a yacht that made a twilight cruise around
Manhattan. The sites of Manhattan could be viewed in daylight, at sunset, and then at night. The
weather was perfect for a cruise and the vistas were wonderful, all encouraging intermingling
and socializing by the members, their spouses and the guests. The scientific programs and their
rigorous presentations and thoughtful discussions were held at New York Hospital and at Mount
Sinai. The meeting concluded with a barbeque luncheon at the home of the Drollers in Pelham.
The tradition of inclusion of spouses in the organization of the meetings was continued with the
efforts of Esther Droller, Maryanne Fair, and Anne Vaughan for this meeting (Figures
It was decided that membership be limited to 40, that members between the ages of 50-65 be
considered senior members, and that those above 65 become emeritus. A proposed by-laws draft
was distributed for vote at the following year's meeting. Drs. Alan Wein and Richard Hautmann
were added to the Membership Committee. Dr. Ackermann reviewed his registration of the
Society with the German authorities prior to the meeting he hosted in Wurzburg and suggested
that this be incorporated with the by-laws for review at the next year's meeting.
7. Dublin, Ireland, June, 1987, Mr. John and Carol Fitzpatrick
The scientific program for this meeting was held at The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland at
the Albert Theatre. Amongst many enthusiastic presentations and commentaries, there was a
particularly heated discussion on the use of neoadjuvant M-VAC for bladder cancer. Members
stayed at the Berkley Court Hotel. Against the wonderful backdrop of Dublin, the welcoming
dinner was held at the Royal College of Surgeons with entrance of the members accompanied by
a chorus of bagpipes. The next day, an after-meeting luncheon was held at the home of the
Fitzpatricks, this extending well into the evening to continue the warm interactions among the
members, guests, and accompanying spouses and children. While the morning meeting was
being held, Carol Fitzpatrick arranged for the spouses and children to tour the Irish countryside
to see the horses grazing, monolithic stones in the fields, and a Celtic burial site. A private lunch
with fresh river salmon at an Irish castle topped the morning’s activities.
At this meeting Drs. Don Coffey, William Fair, Donald Griffiths, Fritz Schroder, Emil Tanagho,
and Hermann de Voogt achieved senior status. The Articles of Association that had been
registered by Dr. Rolf Ackermann the year before were accepted unanimously. The terms of Drs.
Udo Jonas as President, Robert Krane as Vice President, and John Fitzpatrick as Secretary were
extended, and Dr. Rolf Ackermann was elected Treasurer as the Society's funds were transferred
to Dusseldorf. Some interest in inviting additional guests was expressed since fewer members
appeared to be attending the meeting. Reasons for this were reviewed and passed on for
discussion at the following year's meeting.
8. Palm Beach, Florida, July, 1989, Dr. Alan and Christine Wein
This meeting was held at "The Breakers", a luxury hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, with the various
evening dinners and scientific sessions held at this facility. Afternoons following the scientific
sessions were at leisure to take advantage of the beautiful beaches and pools the hotel had to
offer (Figures
A major decision made at this meeting was to identify a cadre of young investigators who might
become candidates for membership, and invite them to become members (much as had been
done for the founding of the Society). This resulted in the election of 15 established young
investigators to membership, bringing the total membership in the Society to 50. The new
Executive Committee consisted of Dr. Robert Krane as President, Mr. John Fitzpatrick as Vice
President, Dr. Ralph deVere White as Secretary, and Dr. Franz DeBruyne as Treasurer. Dr. Udo
Jonas was elected as Historian. Because of the proliferation of competing subspecialty meetings
and the difficulties in maintaining a level of attendance to promote the extent of discussions
necessary for the success of these meetings, it was decided to hold meetings every 18 months.
The World Journal of Urology was reported to have achieved an impact factor that was second
highest among urologic journals.
9. Hanover, Germany, September, 1990, Dr. Udo and Britta Jonas
Dr. Udo Jonas, the founding member of the Society who had hosted the first meeting in Leiden,
The Netherlands, offered to host this meeting in Hanover, Germany at the University of Hanover
to which he had recently relocated. Following a welcoming reception at his and Brita's new
home, the next day comprised a tour by of the Old Town of Goslar and a deer park (many of the
members making "friends" with the inhabitants). The town was founded by King Heinrich I in
922 and gained great importance with the “Kaiserpfalz” of the Ottonen and Salier. At the end of
the medieval time Goslar became a trade center. The highlight of this tour was a visit to the
“Kaiserstuhl” (Emperor’s chair). After enjoying this 1000 year old town, a special banquet was
held in the old Hanover restaurant "Das Brostitoco", a typical “fachwerkhaus” that had been built
in 1526. The atmosphere was supported by some medieval music performances (Figures ).
The meeting included many of the new members elected at the previous meeting. The new
Executive Committee consisted of Mr. John Fitzpatrick as President, Dr. Ralph deVere White as
Vice President, Dr. Michael Marberger as Secretary, and Dr. Franz DeBruyne as Treasurer.
10. Hilton Head, South Carolina, April, 1992, Dr. Martin and Vicki Resnick
A resort was chosen for this meeting that immediately followed the annual meeting of the
American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons to which many of the members of the Society
belonged. Advantage of the resort's resources allowed close social interactions among the
members. One memorable part of this meeting was our coming across a poster-board from
another group on which a number of motivational phrases had been written. These formed the
basis of numerous humorous comments, and underscored the similarity of thoughts we all shared
despite our multicultural and multinational origins and backgrounds. Although we were at a
resort, the weather was unusually cold. We all needed sweaters for the outdoor reception and
ended up being able to spend only one afternoon walking on the beach (Figures
Elected to the Executive Committee were Dr. Ralph DeVere White as President, Dr. Michael
Marberger as Vice President, Dr. Yves Fradet as Secretary, and Dr. Franz Debruyne continuing
as Treasurer.
11. Munich, Germany, June, 1993, Dr. Rudolf and Angela Hartung
This meeting was scheduled to follow the BPH meeting held in Paris in June. The timing and
location of this meeting prompted many to bring their families to this meeting, re-establishing a
strong social aspect to this meeting. This was reinforced by the various venues at which the
receptions, dinners, and tours were held. The welcoming reception started at Nymphenburg
Castle and was followed by dinner at the restaurant "Die Schwaige" next to the castle. The
informality was highlighted by freely flowing beer and wine. The children learned what a
“radler” was and enjoyed drinking this only realizing later that there was a mild alcohol content.
The next day's excursion was to the Monastery Weyarn and Lake Tegernsee with dinner at the
resaurant "Kaltenbrunn". Each day's scientific meeting was followed by lunch at the Hotel
Bayerischer Hof. The roof garden at the hotel allowed wonderful panoramic views of the city.
The final evening's dinner was at the Spatenhaus/Grosse Opernstube (opposite the Opera House),
preceded by a music concert at one of the city's old churches (Figures
12. Ayers Rock, Australia, September, 1994, Mr. Villis Marshall
This meeting was scheduled to follow the meeting of the Societe Internationale d'Urologie held
in Sydney, Australia. Ayers Rock was chosen for its natural beauty and its resort facilities.
Despite the combination of meetings to facilitate travel to Australia, attendance at the meeting
was less than optimum. It was therefore decided that the officers comprising the Executive
Committee should remain in office and no new business should be undertaken.
13. Brussels, Belgium, August, 1996, Dr. Claude and
The disappointing attendance at the previous meeting and the sense that interest in continuing the
Society was flagging prompted Dr. Claude Schulman to host this meeting with the objective of
inviting many young investigators in order to rejuvenate the vitality of the Society. Indeed, since
most of the founding and early members of the Society had become Chairs of departments, both
assuming new responsibilities and no longer as intensively involved in the research for which
they had originally been selected, the infusion of new individuals was felt to be critical if the
Society was to be sustained on the basis of the principles and objectives for which it had
originally been formed.
The scientific part of the meeting was held in the Museum of Medicine, which was on the
campus of the Erasme Faculty of Medicine at the University of Brussels. Both the active
members and the invited young investigators participated actively in the program, which
occupied two full days. The meeting preceded the annual meeting of the European Association
of Urology.
On the first evening the group visited the Erasmus Museum and had dinner at that venue. The
atmosphere was set by the exhibition of original works by Erasmus and by the beauty of the
many antiques. A gala dinner was held the next evening at the "Maison du Cygne" on the Grand
Place. The following day, the group travelled to Bruges where they had a guided tour of the city,
saw many of its artistic treasures, and took a boat trip on the canals. Then, after a tour of the
Memling Museum, the group travelled to Damme for a farewell dinner. This resurrected the
wonderful cultural and social program that had characterized meetings of the Society and made it
such an attractive experience for the membership (Figures
In addition to a lengthy discussion regarding the importance of having as many members attend
as possible, the additional importance of having new members was emphasized. Furthermore,
since the by-laws had last been reviewed in 1986, it was decided to re-examine them to
determine whether any revisions might now be appropriate. The number of subscriptions to the
World Journal of Urology had remained stable at 650-700. Discussion regarding the possible
involvement of the journal with the Societe Internationale d'Urologie did not materialize further.
Eleven new members were elected, and a new Executive Committee was selected, comprised of
Dr. Yves Fradet as President, Dr. Jack Schalken as Secretary, and Dr. Franz Debruyne remaining
as Treasurer.
The importance of this meeting to the restoration of the spirit of the Urological Research Society
cannot be overestimated. Everyone was thoroughly thrilled by every aspect of the scientific and
social program. The opportunity for social interactions and the exchange of information on the
research that was presented re-created what had led to the original founding of the Society. The
many new members and guests could see how valuable this was, and this contributed
substantially to the Society's new viability.
14. Quebec City, Quebec, September, 1997, Dr. Yves and Denyse Fradet
At the previous year's meeting, the decision was made to have meetings annually in September.
This year's meeting, immediately preceding the meeting of the Societe International d'Urologie
in Montreal, was held at the Chateau Frontenac, and a wonderful program and warm hospitality
were provided the attendees by Denyse and Yves Fradet.
After a welcoming reception at the hotel, the group was taken on a whale-watching cruise on
zodiacs (inflatable boats) up the Saguenay Fjord, accompanied by marine-life naturalists. After
spotting numerous whales, the group visited Montmorency Falls where dinner was held at the
Manoir Montmorency (Figures
The first scientific session was held the following day, with a gala dinner that evening at the
Salon Frontenac. A farewell luncheon the next day at the Salon Bellevue was followed by a
walking tour of the historical part of Quebec City.
Seven new members were elected at this meeting. A revised by-laws was distributed for review
and then for amendment and adoption at the next year's meeting. A new Executive Committee
included Drs. Tadao Kakizoe as President, Yoshihiko Hirao as President of the next year's
meeting in Nara, Japan, Laurent Boccon-Gibod as President-Elect, and Jack Schalken and Franz
Debruyne remaining as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.
15. Nara, Japan, September, 1998, Drs. Tadao and Akiko Kakizoe and Yoshihiko and Kazuko
Many in the group had attended a one-day conference in Tokyo the day before, organized by Dr.
Hideyuki Akaza, before travelling to Nara for this meeting of the Society. A welcoming
reception at the Nara Hotel greeted the attendees. After the first day's scientific session, the
group visited the Todai-Ji Temple to see the "Great Budha", following which dinner was held at
Kikusui-Roh. A lecture on the historical culture of Nara was presented by Mr. Shoshu Hiraoka
who is a well-known English speaking priest in the Todai-Ji Temple. The next day began with a
morning walk to Tobihino Park through the Ukimi-Do and feeding of the deer (shikayose).
Afterwards, the group travelled to Kyoto to visit the Kyoto Imperial Gardens, have lunch at the
Kyoto Hotel, and then visit Kinkau-Ji, Tenryu-Ji, and Kiyomizu. A dinner of shabu-shabu ended
a memorable day (Figures
After the next day's scientific session, the group visited the Horyu-Ji Temple, which is the oldest
wooden building in the world and a world heritage site of UNESCO. The farewell dinner was
held at the Benkei Restaurant. The members and guests all expressed deep appreciation for the
planning and hospitality provided by Akiko and Tadao Kakizoe and Kazuko and Yoshihiko
Seven new members were elected to the Society. The impact factor of the World Journal of
Urology was now 1.285 placing it fourth among urology journals. The number of subscriptions
had decreased to 500, thought to reflect the availability of the Journal online. The new Executive
Committee included Drs. Laurent Boccon-Gibod as President, Culley Carson as President-Elect,
and Franz DeBruyne and Jack Schalken remaining as Treasurer and Secretary respectively.
16. Bordeaux, France, September, 1999, Dr. Laurent and Liliane Boccon-Gibod
The Society travelled to the wonderful wine country of Bordeaux, France and enjoyed many
aspects of this glorious part of the world, as hosted by Lilianne and Laurent Boccon-Gibod. A
welcoming reception was held at the Hotel Libertel Claret. Following the first scientific session
the next day the group was taken on a bus tour to La Brede and the Chateau Myrat, which
specializaes in sauterne. Dr. Rolf Hartung, having studied in Paris and being fluent in French,
translated the vintner’s explanations into English for the URS members and impressed everyone
with his translation agility. Being in the vineyards was a wonderful complement to the individual
tours members had made earlier in the City of Bordeaux. Dinner was at the restaurant Le Chapon
Fin (Figures ).
Following the second day's scientific session and independent sightseeing and shopping, the
group was taken to the Chateau Gascours for a tour of the winery (with wine tasting) and then a
dinner at the Chateau with the owners. The very handsome and eligible sons of the owners
attracted the attention of some of the women for possible opportunities for their eligible
daughters (Esther gave one of the sons Miriam Droller's business card). The third day saw the
group travelling to Pomeroi and St.Emilion with a walking tour of the wonderful Old Town and
dinner at the Chateau Vilmaurine, an underground wine cellar. Bob and Bambi Krane, having
missed the bus, appeared in St.Emilion earlier than everyone else having taken a taxi and passing
this off as nothing unusual (Figures
Discussion at the business meeting involved attendance by members and the problem of
maintaining membership if two consecutive meetings were missed. The issue concerned
maintenance of the scientific interactions and social relationships and the support of the integrity
of the Society. There were 6 new members elected. The membership now stood at 81, 45 of
whom were active (i.e. under the age of 55). The World Journal of Urology was maintaining its
impact factor at 1.2-1.3 but the number of subscriptions had decreased to 4-500, reflecting a
lesser subscription rate among libraries and increasing use of internet access. The newly elected
Executive Committee comprised Drs. Culley Carson as President, Ziya Kirkali as PresidentElect, Jack Schalken as Secretary, and Gerald Mickish as Treasurer.
17. Washington, D.C., September 2000, Drs. Culley and Mary Jo Carson and Craig Donatucci
With a welcoming reception and dinner on the Promenade of the Westin Grand Hotel, the first
scientific session the next day was followed by a tour of Capitol Hill and of the many grand
buildings of Washington D.C., something not only the foreign members but also many of the
American members and guests had never done. Dinner was held in the National Air and Space
Museum, with an opportunity to view the exhibits on the history of flight and of the space
program. The second scientific session was followed by a tour of Mount Vernon by some of the
members, a tour of the White House by others, and a visit to the Corcoran Art Gallery. Separate
social activities for spouses were organized by Mary-Jo Carson, whose organizational input was
also easily recognized in the other portions of the social program. The final evening's dinner at
the Osteria Goldoni Restaurant was highlighted by a jazz performance by Herbie Mann, a jazz
legend who made the evening especially memorable (Figures
A good attendance of many young members promoted excellent scientific discussions and
interactions. No new members were elected. A new Executive Committee was comprised of Drs.
Ziya Kirkali as President, Christopher Chapple as President-Elect, Gerald Mickish as Treasurer,
and Craig Donatucci as Secretary.
18. Izmir, Turkey, September, 2001, Dr. Ziya and Gul Kirkali
The tragic events of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks made it impossible for many of the
American members of the Society to attend this meeting. All of the flights from the United States
had been cancelled, and many from Europe were delayed or also cancelled. Fortunately, many of
the members and guests from Europe, Japan, and Korea, and some from North America were
already in Izmir and Istanbul and therefore were able to attend.
The meeting started with a reception and dinner at the Izmir Hilton Hotel. Following the first
scientific session the next day the group visited Ephesus, the Selcuk Museum, and the house of
the Virgin Mary. The next day there were ample opportunities for shopping and many bought
carpets and kilims). After the second scientific session the group visited Pergamon. A farewell
dinner was held at the Hotel. Despite the tragic event of 9/11, attendance at this meeting was
excellent, a testimony to the youthful vigor of the Society in the context of an atmosphere of
uncertainty that the world situation had suddenly created (Figures
Following a discussion on the number of active members and geographic distribution of the
membership, a strategic committee (comprised of Drs. Gerald Mickisch, Freddy Hamdy,
Yoshihiko Hirao, and Jeremy Heaton) was formed to develop plans to strengthen the Society,
increase participation by current members, and encourage new members to join. There were
currently 76 members (42 active, 32 fellows, 2 retired) with 36 from Europe, 29 from North
America, and 19 from the Pacific region. Four new members were elected and a new Executive
Committee comprised of Drs. Christopher Chapple as President, Wun-Jae Kim as PresidentElect, Craig Donatucci as Secretary, and Gerald Mickisch as Treasurer was chosen.
19. York, England, September, 2002, Drs. Christopher and Mary Chapple and Freddy and
Bettina Hamdy
A welcoming reception was held at the Royal York Hotel adjacent to the railway station in the
old town of York. Following the first day's scientific session, there were opportunities to visit the
York Munster and the Jorvic Viking Museum. Dinner that evening was at the National Railway
Museum with an opportunity to see a veritable history of old and new rail engines. Following
the next day's scientific session, the group was taken on a tour of the countryside with a gala
dinner held at the Castle Howard, the site where Brideshead Revisited had been filmed. The
elegance of this glorious castle was matched only by the planning that Mary Chapple and Bettina
Hamdy had done in guiding our hosts in the social part of the meeting. The following day offered
visits to North Yorkshire and Whitby (the seaside home of Captain Cook from which he had set
sail to Australia) and to North York's Moors National Park. The group dined on fish n' chips with
an after-lunch cognac to help digest the "minimal" amount of grease ingested. Christopher had
grown up in this area, and the group enjoyed the countryside and the Abby that comprised part of
the visit (Figures
20. Seoul, South Korea, September 2004, Drs. Wun-Jae Kim and Hanjong Ahn
The SARS scare and ongoing concerns with terrorism, especially in the context of concerns with
North Korea and nuclear threats, prompted delay of this meeting from 2003. The current date
was chosen for its proximity of the meeting to the Societe Internationale d'Urologie being held in
Hawaii. Unfortunately, several international meetings overlapped during the SIU so that many
members who had planned to attend were unable to.
The participants experienced traditional Korean culture and food by traveling to the Korean Folk
Village on the afternoon of the second day. The following afternoon was an excursion to
Gyeongbokgung Palace and to the National Folk Museum, both providing an opportunity to
experience Korean culture more deeply.
The farewell party was an unforgettable memory for all of the members and their families. Aston
is a guesthouse especially built for VIPs, such as national officers. The hotel provided this place
and a special western style set menu for the meeting. This last night was highlighted by a
traditional Korean performance which encouraged the participation of all of the attendees.
21. Boston, Massachusetts, June, 2005, hosted by Dr. Richard and Sonya Babayan
This meeting was held in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the URS and in memory of
Dr. Bob Krane, founding member of the Society. This well-attended meeting allowed many of
the founding members to recall the wonderful times they had experienced and friendships they
had made during the 25 years of the Society, to talk about the contributions that Bob Krane had
made to their lives, and to encourage the younger members of the Society to continue its
traditions. The social events included a reception and dinner the first evening at the hotel, a tour
of Boston Harbor by “Duck Boat”, and evening reception and dinner at the Boston Atheneum,
and a visit to Salem (city of the Massachusetts “Witch Hunts” 3 centuries earlier). At the dinner
at the Atheneum Michael Droller presented a pictorial history of the Society, bringing memories
of each meeting and the social activities that had taken place. What was so spectacular was that
none of the members of the Society had grown older.
The scientific meetings during the day continued the interesting discussions of new
investigations, most of these now presented by the younger members of the Society. Discussions
were as open and insightful as always, and the exchange of information reinforced the most
meaningful aspects of this group. Plans were made to continue the growth and activities of the
URS for many years to come as the members celebrated the 25th anniversary of the URS.
Early Members
Member Name
Institution Affiliation
Rolf Ackermann
Hideyuki Akaza
Peter Alken
Ernst Peter Allhoff
Urologische Universitatsklinik
Tokyo University (Tsukuba)
Klinikum Mannheim (Heidelberg)
Hospital Federal Miners' Soc.
(Otto-von-Guericke University)
Jens-Thorup Andersen University of Copenhagen
George Bartsch
Urologische Universitatsklinik
Laurent Boccon-Gibod Hopital Bichat
Michael K. Brawer
University of Washington
Culley C. Carson
University of North Carolina
Christopher Chapple The Royal Hallamshire Hospital
Dominique Chopin
Hopital Henri Mondor
Donald S. Coffey
Johns Hopkins Medical School
Beaudoin L.R.A. Coolsaet Academisch Ziekenhuis
Frans M.F. Debruyne Radboud Ziekenhuis
Ralph DeVere White University of California
Daniel P. DeKlerk
Tygerberg Hospital
Craig F. Donatucci
Duke Medical Center
Joseph R. Drago
Ohio State University
Michael J. Droller
Mount Sinai Medical Center
William R. Fair
Memorial Sloane Kettering
John M. Fitzpatrick
University College
Yves Fradet
Laval University Cancer Center
R.A. (Frank) Gardiner University of Queensland
Reza Ghanadian
Clinical Research Laboratory
Martin Gleave
Vancouver General Hospital
Donald P. Griffith
Baylor College of Medicine
Freddie C. Hamdy
Freeman Hospital
Rudolf Hartung
Urologische Universitatsklinik
(Technische Universitat)
Richard Hautmann
Urologische Universitatsklinik
Jeremy P.W. Heaton
Queen's University
Yoshihiko Hirao
Nara Medical University
Klaus Hoefner
Medizinsche Hochschule
Rainer Hofmann
Technische Universitat
Markus Hohenfellner
University of Mainz
John Isaacs
Johns Hopkins Oncology Center
Gunther Jacobi
Urologische Univertatsklinik
Udo Jonas
Academish Ziekenhuis
(Medizinische Hochschule)
Yoshiyuki Kakehi
Kyoto University
Wurselen-Bardenberg 1993
Cape Town
New York
New York
Quebec City
Tadao Kakizoe
Wun-Jae Kim
Ziya Kirkali
Alexander Kirschenbaum
Robert J. Krane
Paul H. Lange
Robert Levin
W. Marston Linehan
Larry I. Lipshultz
Tom P. Lue
S. Bruce Malkowicz
Michael Marberger
Villis R. Marshall
Tadashi Matsuda
John McConnell
Gerald Mickisch
John Nacey
Curtis J. Nickel
David Nicol
Kenji Oishi (1948)
Kenichiro Okada
Carl A. Olsson
Patrick O'Reilley
David F. Paulson
Aaron Perlmutter
Martin I. Resnick
Michael F. Sarosdy
Jack A. Schalkin
Peter N. Schlegel
Richard A. Schmidt
Bernd Schmitz-Drager
Fritz H. Schroder
Claude C. Schulman
Cesare Selli (1950)
Theo Senge
Mark S. Soloway
William D. Steers
National Cancer Center
Chungbuk National University
Dokul Eylul University
Mount Sinai Medical Center
Boston Univesity Medical School
University of Minnesota
(University of Washington)
University of Pennsylvania
(Albany Medical Center)
National Cancer Institute
Baylor Medical School
University of California
University of Pennsylvania
Flinders Medical Center
Kansai Medical University
Southwestern University
Erasmus University
Wellington School of Medicine
Queens University
Princess Alexandra Hospital
Kyoto Medical School
(Kobe Medical Center)
Fukui Medical School
Columbia College P & S
Stepping Hill Hospital
Duke Medical Center
New York Hospital
Case-Western Reserve
University of Texas
University Hospital
New York Hospital
University of California
(University of Colorado)
Urologische Universitasklinik
Erasmus University
Hopital Erasme
Universita de Firenze
(Universita Degli Studi di Udine)
University of Tennessee
(University of Miami)
University of Virginia
New York
San Francisco
New York
New York
San Antonio
New York
San Francisco
del Friuli)
Georg E. Steiner
Arnulf Stenzl
Christian G. Stief
Urs E. Studer
Emil A. Tanagho
Michael C. Truss
Taiji Tsukamoto
E. Darracott Vaughan Jr.
Hermann J. deVoogt
Alan J. Wein
Eric Wespes
Hugh N. Whitfield
* fellow
** emeritus
*** inactive
+ deceased
University of Vienna
University of Innsbruck
Medizinische Hochschule
Inselspital Anna-Seiler-Haus
University of California
Medizinische Hochschule
Sapporo Medical University
New York Hospital
Academisch Ziegenhuis
University of Pennsylvania
Hopital Erasme
St.Bartholomew's Hospital
San Francisco
New York

A History of the Urologic Research Society