J Todd Purves
Principal Investigator
Professor of Urology
Contact Information

Campus Mail: DUMC Box 38321, Durham, NC 27710

Phone: 919-613-5918



Our lab focuses on projects that have direct relevance to disorders that are regularly encountered by practicing urologists in the clinic. We are particularly interested in benign urologic disease caused by inflammation in the bladder. We have shown that nod-like receptors (NLRs) and the inflammasomes they form are present in the bladder epithelia where they serve as sensors of sterile damage and potentially bacterial infection. Upon activation, these structures mature the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-18, which are released and trigger inflammation and lower urinary tract symptoms, such as increased voiding frequency.

Inflammasome formation/activation during bladder outlet obstruction (such as during benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) and diabetes appears to be a major contributor to urinary dysfunction in those patient populations. Consequently, these two disorders are intensely under study in our lab. A thorough understanding of the inflammasome system in the bladder, while learning to manipulate this system for therapeutic advantage, is the main pillar of our lab.

Contact Us

Individuals interested in discussing this research and/or establishing collaborations should contact Dr. Todd Purves (todd.purves@duke.edu) or Dr. Monty Hughes (monty.hughes@duke.edu).

Lab Director

Director, Duke University Urinary Dysfunction Laboratory

View Dr. Purves's profile to see his publications and funded projects.

Publications and Funded Projects

Lab Members

Faculty Members

Director, Duke University Urinary Dysfunction Laboratory



  • Michael Odom – Post Doctoral research Assosiate
  • Brent Nose – Urology Resident
  • Shelby Harper – Medical Student
  • Huixia Jin – Technician
  • Hamza Malick - Undergraduate Researcher
  • Michael Zheng - Undergraduate Researcher
  • Margaret Lim - Undergraduate Researcher


  • Brian Inouye – Urology resident
  • Stephanie Sexton – Urology Resident
  • Patrick Leidig - Urology Resident
  • Nathan Hirshman – Medical Student
  • Shelby Harper – Medical Student
  • Robin Leutolf – Visiting Graduate Student (Switzerland)
  • Isabelle Doan– Undergraduate Researcher
  • Simon White – Undergraduate Researcher
  • Chloe Yun – Undergraduate Researcher
  • Eloise Stanton – Undergraduate Researcher
  • Hamza Malick – Undergraduate Researcher
  • Kunal Potnis – Undergraduate Researcher
  • Sierra Tolbert – Undergraduate Researcher