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Ben L. Woolbright, PhD

Ben Woolbright portrait
Assistant Professor, Cancer Biology

Professional Background

Dr. Woolbright earned his Ph.D. from Kansas University Medical Center working on metabolism and disposition of bile acids. He subsequently completed a postdoctoral fellowship in liver disease at Kansas University Medical Center before shifting his focus to bladder cancer. His primary research is now on interactions between aging, the microbiome and the role of inflammation in bladder cancer treatment and development. Dr. Woolbright maintains an active translational research component to his laboratory through supporting multiple clinical trials for novel agents, or novel combinations of agents, aimed at treating bladder cancer in human patients.

Education and Training
  • PhD, Toxicology, University of KansasMedicalCtr
  • Post Doctoral Fellowship, Toxicology/Hepatology, Kansas University Medical Center, KANSAS CITY, KS



The risk of acquiring bladder cancer goes up substantially as people age. Compounding this issue, older patients have poorer outcomes than their younger counterparts when diagnosed with bladder cancer. While we understand these aging associated changes in the clinical biology underlying bladder cancer, there is is little laboratory research in this area to explain the underlying mechanisms as the majority of research focuses on using younger animal models that may not accurately reflect the patient population. Dr. Woolbright's research is focused on understanding how changes known to occur in aged mammals and older patients may alter tumor formation and response to therapy. His primary focuses currently are:

1) Understanding why older animals develop larger tumors than their younger counterparts in a murine model of bladder cancer.

2) Defining aging associated changes in murine microbiomes and how they interact with the aged immune system.

In addition, Dr. Woolbright remains a part of multiple clinical trials aimed at helping patients with bladder cancer by providing novel therapies.