About the Program

The Pilot and Feasibility Studies Program within the O'Brien Urology Research Center is designed to introduce new investigators to kidney stone research, to encourage established researchers to break into the field and to allow established nephrolithiasis investigators to pursue novel ideas that are distinct from areas of research in which they are currently involved.

Our center designates significant resources to the Pilot and Feasibility Studies Program to promote new basic and clinical translational research in kidney stone disease. A scientific review committee oversees the program.

The director of the program is physician-scientist Andrew D. Rule, M.D., a nephrologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Recent projects by junior investigators at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester include the study of nitric oxide signaling and urinary stone disease and the study of genotype-phenotype correlations in Dent's disease.


Ideal pilot projects facilitate accumulation of preliminary data that can be used for future grant applications and expand the scope of urology research under the auspices of the currently funded NIDDK O'Brien research centers around the country. Projects that support new investigators with a faculty appointment not already R01 or equivalently funded are especially encouraged. Established investigators who currently don't engage in benign urology research in alignment with funded O'Brien centers also can apply. Contact us for more information about pilot projects.