Residency Program Staff

The faculty and staff in the Department of Urology at the University of Kansas Medical Center are listed below along with their biography profiles.

  • Dr. J. Brantley Thrasher, Professor and William L. Valk Chairman of the Department of Urology, and Program Director since 1998, began building our program with fellowship-trained faculty in each of the subspecialty areas of urology. He completed a fellowship in urologic oncology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. His urology residency was completed at Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado. He is board certified by the American Board of Urology. His specialty area of expertise is in urologic cancer and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Thrasher is involved in both basic science and clinical research in the development of new diagnostic techniques and treatments for prostate, bladder, and kidney cancer.
  • Dr. John W. Weigel, Professor and board certified by the ABU, specializes in general urology seeing patients for prostatitis, UTIs, and ED. He has served on the urology faculty for three decades and has extensive clinical experience. He is an outstanding teacher and resident advocate. He is a prior recipient of the Gold Cane Award from the American Urological Association for his outstanding lifetime achievements in Urology. The John W. Weigel Professorship in Urology was completed two years ago and an investiture ceremony was held in February 2007 to name Dr. Holzbeierlein as the John W. Weigel Professor.
  • Dr. Tomas L. Griebling, Associate Professor, Vice-Chair, and Associate Program Director, is the only fellowship-trained female and geriatric urology specialist in the Midwest. He completed a two-year fellowship in female urology, geriatric urology, and urodynamics as an AFUD/AUA Health Services Research Scholar at the University of Iowa. He is board certified by the ABU. He was honored to have been named a Kemper Fellow, a distinction given to the outstanding mentor and educator at the University of Kansas. He has recently been chosen to receive the John P. Wolf Distinguished Professorship in Urology. His investiture ceremony will be held in April 2008. Dr. Griebling is a nationally recognized expert in geriatrics and serves on multiple national committees and has published extensively on his area of expertise.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Holzbeierlein, Associate Professor and ABU board certified, completed his residency at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He subsequently completed a two-year fellowship in urologic oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He was the recipient of the John W. Weigel Professorship in Urology award in February 2007. He is actively involved in the urology research lab, in addition to clinical research. His interests focus on the androgen receptor as well as drug development in prostate cancer. He is a co-principal investigator on our NIH-RO1 grant.
  • Dr. David Duchene, Assistant Professor and board certified by the ABU, joined the program in July 2006. He completed his urology residency at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas. He then went on to complete a fellowship in laparoscopic and robotic urological surgery and stone disease at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Dr. Duchene is also the director of minimally-invasive urological surgery at the University of Kansas and instructs residents in laparoscopic surgery techniques. He has special interest in the application of minimally invasive techniques to the management of urologic tumors, adrenal disorders, renal reconstruction, and kidney stones.
  • Dr. Ajay Nangia, Associate Professor, joined the program in July 2007. Dr. Nangia is board certified by the American Board of Urology as well. He serves as the Clinical Director of Andrology where he specializes in treating male infertility patients. Dr. Nangia completed his urology residency at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. He completed a fellowship in male infertility and microsurgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio. He works closely with the CDC and is president of the AUA Specialty Society for the Study of Male Reproduction. He has written several peer-reviewed journal articles in the field of urology including male infertility and microsurgery.
  • Dr. Joshua Broghammer, Assistant Professor and American Board of Urology certified, joined the program in August 2008. Dr. Broghammer earned both his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Iowa. He then completed his urology residency from Wayne State University at the Detroit Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Kansas, he completed a fellowship in trauma and genitourinary reconstruction at the University of Washington's Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Broghammer's specialized interest is genitourinary reconstruction. He holds teaching appointments at the University of Kansas Hospital and also at Truman Medical Center.
  • Dr. Paul Christenson, Associate Professor and board certified y the ABU, holds teaching appointments at the University of Kansas Medical Center and Truman Medical Center. Dr. Christenson received his medical degree from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. He completed his urology residency at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Christenson served for 27 years with the United States Navy and retired in 2001. He practiced in private practice in Columbus, Ohio for the next 8 years until he came to the University of Kansas Medical Center in November 2009. Dr. Christenson sees patients with general urological problems, erectile dysfunction, and female urological problems.
  • Dr. Moben Mirza, Assistant Professor, joined the department as faculty in July 2010, after he completed a fellowship in urologic oncology at the University of Kansas. He completed his urology residency at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Dr. Mirza specializes in the treatment of genitourinary malignancies including prostate, bladder, kidney, testicular, and penile cancers. He performs open, endoscopic, laparoscopic, and robotic surgeries.
  • Dr. Priya Padmanabham, Assistant Professor, is our newest faculty member joining our program on September 1, 2010. She completed her residency in Urology at the New York Medical Center and a fellowship in female urology and pelvic reconstruction in the Department of Urology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Her principle interests include female voiding dysfunction and male urethral reconstruction.
  • Dr. Patrick Murphy is one of three pediatric urologists at Children's Mercy Hospital who supervise and help in the training of our residents when they rotate to CMH during their first and fourth year of residency. Dr. Murphy is one of the most highly trained physicians in the Midwest. He has board certifications in General Surgery, Pediatric Surgery and Urology. He completed his urology residency here at the University of Kansas Medical Center and did a pediatric surgery fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
  • Dr. John Gatti, board certified in urology, is also on staff at the Children's Mercy Hospital. He completed a pediatric urology fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta after completing his urology residency at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center in Salt Lake City. Dr. Gatti also serves as the Medical Director of the Spinal Defects Clinic at the Kansas University Hospital.
  • Drs. Murphy and Gatti provide full-time pediatric urology coverage at the Kansas University Hospital. They actively participate in the teaching of our residents and supervise their rotation while at Children's Mercy Hospital.
  • Dr. Ernesto Lopez-Corona is the Chief of Urology at the VA Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. He is responsible for the daily supervision of the urology residents at the KCVA during outpatient clinics, ward rounds, and in the operating room along with the KU urology faculty. He completed his urology oncology fellowship at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He has many years of clinical experience both in the U.S. and internationally prior to coming to the VA Medical Center. He is an outstanding teacher and provides our residents with excellent training.
  • Benyi Li, M.D., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Director of the Basic Science Research Laboratory. He joined us from the Baylor College of Medicine, where he obtained his postdoc training. Dr. Li has multiple research projects and supports resident research with a core curriculum. Residents are almost always involved with basic science research projects mentored by Dr. Li. His area of expertise and interest lies in prostate cancer research.
  • Dev Karan, M.S., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor who joined us after completing his training at the University of Iowa. He is involved in basic and translational research that pertains to activation of anti-tumor response and destruction of tumor cells by T-lymphocytes using prostate cancer mouse models. His interest focuses on novel effector mechanisms of tumor cell killing by cytotoxic T cells and dendritic cell based signals regulating tumor-reactive T cells. For a better understanding to control the growth of prostate tumors, studies are in progress to understand the role of inflammation and its associated molecules including tumor-microenvironment.
  • Ms. Cathy Hightower is the Residency Program Coordinator. Any questions regarding the program may be addressed to her at 913-588-7571 or by email at

We have many additional clinical attending staff that assists with the teaching responsibilities and training of our urology residents at affiliate sites including the Kansas City VA Medical Center, Children's Mercy Hospital, and Truman Medical Center.

Last modified: Nov 13, 2014

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