Timm-Nelson Lab

Funtional Urology Discovery Team

Functional Urology is a branch of urology dealing with medical conditions that impact urinary controls, especially in the lower urinary tract, such as the bladder, uriters and urethera.  The urinary bladder, the nerves that control the bladder, muscles that control bladder filling and voiding, and organ systems that interact with the bladder are all part of research and clinical medicine in functional urology.  Medical disorders related to functional urology include overactive bladder, underactive bladder, stress incontinence, mixed incontinence, neuropathic bladder, pelvic pain, spinal cord and nerve injuries relating to the urinary tract, and other medical conditions and surgeries that impact normal functions of the lower urinary tract.

Our team is relatively new in the Urology Department and University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.  But our roots in biomedical research and device commercialization extend back to the early 1970s.  Our research group is interested in the development of clinical therapies and diagnostics measures that will fill critical gaps between “bench top” research and “bedside” medical practice related to urological control systems. Currently, we are utilizing both preclinical animal models and clinical study designs to investigate and quantify the pathophysiology of bladder dysfunction syndromes, neurological disorders, and their intersection.

Projects and Program

We are currently engaged in two broad research programs and will add more as funding and team membership allows.  Our projects include clinical and pre-clinical studies, retrospective and prospective clinical studies.

Our Projects:

  • Characterization of myogenic contractions of the bladder detrusor muscle of porcine bladder tissue in vitro

  • Large animal models of physiologic bladder filling and urodynamics

  • Quantification of urodynamics datain patients with lower urinary tract dysfunction

  • Investigation of Sacral Nerve Modulation stimulation parameters and bladder function

  • Quantitative physio-sensing related to lower urinary tract function and dysfunction

  • Quantitative Urodynamics based upon non-voiding bladder sensing

  • Quantification of therapy impacts on lower urinary track physiology and functions.


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We are a multidisciplinary, integrative team of scientists, engineers and physicians striving develop next generation technologies to bladder and urinary tract disorders. Our team includes several with experience in medical devices and technology development including startups, large enterprise medical device and pharmaceuticals.  Our team also includes practicing clinicians as well as medical and graduate students. 




Medical and Graduate Students:

  • Rachael Gotlieb - Rachel is a third year medical student and aspiring urologist at the University of Minnesota.
  • Kate Hanson
  • Chris Hornung, BS - Chris is a medical student at the University of Minnesota.  He gradeted from the University of St. Thomas in 2018 with a Biology Degree.
  • Bhaskar Ravishankar, BS - Bhaskar is a final year PhD Candidate of Electrical Engineering.  He graduated in 2011 from Visvesvaraya Technological University - India with a bachelors degree in electronics and communications engineering.
  • Ranveer Vasdev, MS - Ranveer is a current dual degree MD/MS student at the University of Minnesota and recipient of the Augustine Biomedical Engineering Fellowship.  He graduated in 2018 from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with degrees in Music and Neurobiology.