Harris Emilio Foster MD
Professor of Urology; Director, Female Urology and Neuro-Urology
Benign prostatic hyperplasis clinical trials; Interstitial cystitis clinical trials; Basic science investigations into changes in receptor system in the prostate in response to treatment with standard pharmacotherapies
Dr. Harris Emilio Foster Jr.'s research interests revolve around neurogenic dysfunction of the lower urinary tract, incontinence, and female urology. At present, he and his group are investigating the distribution of adrenergic, muscarinic and endothelin receptors in the lower urinary tract of rats and rabbits. In addition, they are involved in determining the role nitric oxide synthase plays in the pathogenesis of lower urinary tract dysfunction. The team has found that nitric oxide synthase is high in patients with urinary tract infections; however, it is significantly lower than controls in female patients with interstitial cystitis. Dr. Foster Jr. and his colleagues hope to eventually apply this knowledge to improving both the diagnosis and treatment of interstitial cystitis. Presently, they have treated a small number of patients with oral L-ariginine, which is a substrate for nitric oxide synthase obtaining encouraging results. A randomized double-blind placebo controlled study is now in progress to further investigate these preliminary findings. Other projects include assessing the long term efficacy of surgical procedures to treat female stress urinary incontinence, and the use of non-surgical methods such as biofeedback. Finally, Dr. Foster Jr. is the principal investigator at Yale University for an NIH sponsored 7 year randomized clinical trial assessing the ability of doxazosin and/or finasteride to delay or prevent the progression of benign prostatic hyperplasia.