Translational Interdisciplinary Genito-Urinary Research (TIGUR) at the Medical College of Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Exploratory Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Benign Urology is an exploratory Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) formed to conduct research and training focusing on improving urinary incontinence (UI) in women.
Physician F Patient F Consult

About the Center

Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) include bothersome issues such as incontinence, an involuntary loss of urine. Incontinence is a common chronic condition affecting nearly half of adult women. While there are effective treatments for some types of incontinence, (stress and urge incontinence), prior research has indicated that many patients do not receive any treatment, and many who receive treatment do not achieve relief from symptoms.

The Wisconsin Exploratory Center brings together experienced investigators with the expertise to develop, implement, and evaluate a novel pathway to guide systemic clinical care for women experiencing incontinence. The goal of the team is to provide better clinical management of incontinence, achieve relief of symptoms for patients, and reduce unneeded specialty referrals.

The Center is working to achieve improvements in incontinence care by developing and testing tools that improve patient identification through patient-reported outcome measures, and with subsequent stepwise initiation of therapy to achieve symptom relief.

The Center is also driving innovation in this area through the Educational Enrichment Program, which supports summer research experiences for medical students and sponsors a seminar series that brings together speakers from non-traditional backgrounds in benign genitourinary conditions.

TIGUR Studies

P20 DK127511

This award will enhance the intellectual infrastructure of the benign genitourinary research community and foster scientific research that advances the field by bringing together members of our local community of scientists already investigating benign genitourinary diseases, recruiting experienced scientists investigating other conditions to apply their expertise and techniques to the study of benign genitourinary diseases, conducting pilot research, and supporting student research experiences and a seminar series.


Urinary incontinence is common and associated with high costs and negative impacts on quality of life. Effective non-surgical treatments are available but often do not reach patients. The WI-INTUIT intervention is designed to help primary care clinics incorporate screening and treatment of urinary incontinence: Ask (screen), Advise (educate that incontinence is common and treatable), and Assist (offer evidence-based treatment, including by connecting patients to resources that are already available within the community). Guided by Glasgow’s RE-AIM framework, we will compare two implementation strategies through a type 3 hybrid cluster randomized trial of 50 primary care practices.

Upcoming TIGUR Seminars

Previous TIGUR Seminars

Please email to request access to seminar Zoom recordings.


Functional MRI: Methodology and Applications | January 26, 2022
Presenter: Jeffrey Engelmann, PhD
Dr. Engelmann is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. In this presentation, Dr. Engelmann introduces fMRI methodology using examples from his nicotine dependence research. Basics of data acquisition, statistical analysis, and interpretation of results are covered. The methodological introduction is followed by discussion of potential applications of fMRI to the mission of the TIGUR Center.


Evidence Based Incontinence Care – And Where Can We Improve? | July 14, 2021
Presenter: Emily Davidson, MD
Dr. Davidson is an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology within the Women’s Incontinence & Sexual Health (WISH) Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin. In this presentation, Dr. Davidson summarizes the current standards for urinary incontinence care and the evidence behind them. Throughout the presentation, she reviews therapies as well as real world situations where there are still barriers to care or areas where further research is needed.

Improving Therapies and Treatment Outcomes for Non-Cancerous Urinary Conditions by Improving Data Capture and Usage | June 23, 2021
Presenter: Jim Hokanson, PhD
Dr. Hokanson is an assistant professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering between the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University, with an interest in developing new therapies to treat urological dysfunction. In this seminar, Dr. Hokanson discusses the problematic nature of the “try and see” approach to therapy selection when treating non-cancerous genitourinary conditions. He further explains how improved data collection and utilization in humans could guide therapy selection and therapy development.

Introduction to Deep Learning and Natural Language Processing | March 10, 2021
Presenter: Jay Urbain, PhD
Dr. Urbain is a Data Science and Machine Learning Consultant at Upstream Development LLC. Dr. Urbain consults academic and industrial partners on problems in machine learning, deep learning, Natural Language Processing (NLP), search, and data engineering research and applications. In this seminar, Dr. Urbain explains deep learning, NLP, core NLP tasks, applications, challenges, and future directions.

Urinary Incontinence in Older Persons – Tricks of the Trade | January 27, 2021
Presenter: Catherine DuBeau, MD
Dr. DuBeau is a professor of internal medicine and obstetrics and gynecology at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. In her career, Dr. DuBeau has greatly contributed to research in geriatric medicine and urinary incontinence. In this seminar, Dr. DuBeau discusses the most common types of urinary incontinence in older persons. She then explains how to perform a patient-centered evaluation and initial management of urinary incontinence for this patient population.


  • Best Poster–Clinical was awarded to Emily Davidson, MD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin P20 Exploratory Center at the Annual CAIRIBU Meeting.

Meet Our Team


Bradley Corbin, MD

Resident, Obstetrics & Gynecology


Bradley H. Crotty, MD, MPH, FACP, FAMIA

Associate Professor, Medicine (General Internal Medicine)


Emily R. W. Davidson, MD

Assistant Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology


Kathryn Flynn, PhD

Professor, Vice Chair for Research


Jim Hokanson, PhD

Assistant Professor, Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering


Joan Neuner, MD, MPH

Professor, Medicine (General Internal Medicine)


Robert O'Connor, MD

Professor, Urology


Jacob Tiegs, MLS, CG

Clinical Informatics Analyst, Center for Advancing Population Science (CAPS)


Marie Luebke

Medical Student


Sarah Marowski

Medical Student


Joanna Balza, RN

Graduate Student, Research Assistant


Nicole Fergestrom, MS

Biostatistician I, Center for Advancing Population Science (CAPS)

Contact Us

Translational Interdisciplinary Genito-Urinary Research
Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226