AUA Urology Scientific Mentoring and Research Training (USMART) Academy


To foster creative and impactful mentorship between developing urology physician-scientists and established investigators with an exemplary track record of leadership and mentorship.


The USMART Academy envisions a mentoring program in which every mentee experiences nurturing one-to-one relationships and community support, which in turn allows each of them to develop to their full potential as scientists capable of independence, impactful research, and giving back as involved members of the urologic research community. The USMART Academy provides an additional mechanism for creative interactions across the AUA between the mentor and the mentee, thereby accelerating the mentee’s professional growth, research collaborations, and career building beyond their local environment. The objective is to generate, not mentoring overlap, but complimentary and independent training support for the mentees to reach their full potential.


The USMART Academy was first conceptualized in 2016 by the AUA Office of Research from discussions by the AUA Research Grants and Investigator Support Committee concerning the great need for strong external mentorship for young urology physician-scientists, specifically as they transition to research independence. The program was officially launched in 2017 at the Urology Care Foundation Research Honors Program and Reception, The inaugural cohort was established in 2018 with five promising urology physician-scientist mentees paired with five well-established mentors for a year of mentoring support. Since that time the USMART Academy has supported 15 mentees representing a range of research areas as they continue their transition to independence as urology physician-scientists. Due to its success since inception the USMART Academy doubled the available mentee positions for the 2022 cohort and committed to increasing the diversity, equity, and inclusiveness of its participants.

2022 Mentees

We are delighted to announce the 2022 cohort of mentees inducted into the USMART Academy.

Denise Asafu-Adjei, MD, MPH

Director of Male Reproductive Medicine, Assistant Professor, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

Sigrid Carlsson, PhD

Assistant Attending Epidemiologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Nicole De Nisco, PhD

Assistant Professor, The University of Texas at Dallas

Emilie Johnson, MD

Associate Professor, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Max Kates, MD

Assistant Professor of Urology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Qiang Li, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Unwanaobong Nseyo, MD

Assistant Professor of Urology, University of Southern California

Yaw Nyame, MD, MHSA, MBA

Assistant Professor, University of Washington

Simpa Salami, MD, MPH

Urologic Oncologist, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan

Allyson Shea, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Michigan Medical Center