Carol Podlasek, Ph.D

Associate Professor in the Department of Urology
Photo of Carol Podlasek Ph.D

Biographical Info

Dr. Carol Podlasek joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago in July of 2014, serving as Associate Professor in the Department of Urology.  She is an internationally recognized expert in the field of erectile dysfunction (ED) and peripheral nerve regeneration.  Her research examines the role of nerve injury in the development of ED, which affects ~ 50% of men aged 40 to 70 and has a high impact on men’s health and quality of life.  Current treatments with PDE5 inhibitors are ineffective in the difficult to treat prostatectomy and diabetic patients due to injury to the cavernous nerve.  Thus her laboratory focuses on how signaling is altered between penile smooth muscle/endothelium and the nerve/smooth muscle interface.  They seek crucial regulators of these pathways in order to develop novel ED treatments.  However, their findings are also applicable to peripheral nerve injury that occurs with diabetes and aging, and reflect a global understanding of how innervation establishes and maintains tissue morphology.  Dr. Podlasek’s laboratory was the first to demonstrate the role of the cavernous nerve and the Sonic hedgehog pathway in maintaining penile architecture, they determined how signaling is altered in ED disease models and patients, and developed a therapy to promote regeneration and functional recovery, that may be translated to ED patients.

Dr. Podlasek is an active member of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America, and has served as a past Chair and member of the Basic Science Committee, on the Research and Awards Committee, and co-chair of the Scientific Planning Committee, where she planned the basic science presentations for the Fall 2014 Sexual Medicine Society Meeting.  Dr. Podlasek is also a member of the American Urological Association where she has served on the abstract selection committee since 2012, and has participated in defining the core curriculum for the AUA.  She has also served on the awards committee for the International Society of Sexual Medicine.  Dr. Podlasek is an ad hoc reviewer for the NIH special emphasis panel in urology.  Dr. Podlasek earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame in 1994 and first became interested in Urology during a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University, where she studied the role of Hox genes in urogenital development, and later served as faculty from 2001-2014.





Ph.D. in Biochemistry – University of Notre Dame

Northwestern University – Hox genes in urogenital development

Publications(Google Scholar profile link)
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