The Future of Basic Science: Development of the Next Generation of Mechanistic Researchers in Female Pelvic Medicine

Marianna Alperin, May Alarab, Sylvia Botros-Brey, Harold Drutz, Jenny King, Oksana Shynlova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction and hypothesis: The International Urogynecological Association (IUGA) brought together senior and junior members actively engaged in scholarly and educational activities for a consensus conference centered on developing a strategy for sustainable training of the next generation of mechanistic researchers in female pelvic medicine. Methods: Four a priori identified major foci were explored in a half-day virtual consensus conference. Participants included representatives from various countries and disciplines with diverse backgrounds—clinicians, physician-scientists, and basic scientists in the fields of urogynecology, biomechanical engineering, and molecular biology. Following a keynote address, each focus area was first tackled by a dedicated breakout group, led by the Chair(s) of the most relevant IUGA committees. The break-out sessions were followed by an iterative discussion among all attendees to identify mitigating strategies to address the shortage of mechanistic researchers in the field of female pelvic medicine. Results: The major focus areas included: research priorities for IUGA basic science scholar program; viable strategies for sustainable basic science mentorship; core competencies in basic science training; and the challenges of conducting complex mechanistic experiments in low-resource countries. Key gaps in knowledge and core competencies that should be incorporated into fellowship/graduate training were identified, and existing training modalities were discussed. Recommendations were made for pragmatic approaches to increasing the exposure of trainees to learning tools to enable sustainable training of the next generation of basic science researchers in female pelvic medicine worldwide. Conclusions: The attendees presented multiple perspectives to gain consensus regarding critical areas of need for training future generations of mechanistic researchers. Recommendations for a sustainable Basic Science Scholar Program were developed using IUGA as a platform. The overarching goal of such a program is to ensure a successful bench-to-bedside-and-back circuit in Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery, ultimately improving lives of millions of women worldwide through scientifically rational effective preventative and therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Basic science
  • Basic science scholar program
  • Consensus conference
  • IUGA
  • Mechanistic research
  • Pelvic Medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology


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