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We are thrilled to announce that Katherine Chan, MD, MPH, a distinguished surgeon-scientist will become UNC Urology’s inaugural Vice Chair for Research beginning April 1st.

Dr. Chan brings a wealth of experience in conducting and leading funded research, as well as a passion for translating scientific discoveries into improved patient outcomes. In this new role, she will play a crucial part in advancing UNC Urology’s mission to become a national center of excellence for urologic research. She will foster collaborations among faculty, trainees, and partners across disciplines. We are honored to have Dr. Chan as a member of our team and look forward to the exciting discoveries and innovations that will emerge under her leadership.


“I am thrilled that Dr. Chan will be our inaugural Vice Chair of Research. She will develop a strategic vision for research in our department and drive the expansion of our funding portfolio. She will lead and develop our team of talented surgeon scientists and trainees, building upon the strong operational infrastructure developed by Dr. Ray Tan over the past several years.”

Matthew Nielsen, MD, MS, FACS
Rhodes Distinguished Professor and Chair
UNC Chapel Hill Department of Urology

“Dr. Chan is a thoughtful leader with exceptional vision and strategy who will use these qualities to elevate and continue to grow our UNC Urology research program.”

Angela Smith, MD, MS
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Leadership Development
Vice Chair of Academic Affairs
Professor of Urology


About Dr. Chan

Dr. Katherine Chan has over 50 peer-reviewed publications and has been principal investigator for multiple research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including a five-year K23 Career Development Award, an R03 award, several administrative supplements, and multiple NIH Loan Repayment Awards. Dr. Chan’s primary area of expertise is in the use of qualitative and user-centered design methodology to assist parents in making optimal, informed decisions about their children’s surgical procedures using decision support tools.

Dr. Chan completed her medical degree at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and a six-year urology residency at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. She then completed a three-year pediatric urology fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital that included a two-year Harvard Pediatric Health Services Research Fellowship Program culminating in a Master of Public Health.

After her fellowship, Dr. Chan joined the Division of Pediatric Urology at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Indiana as an Assistant Professor in 2013. During her nearly eight-year tenure there, she served as the Co-Director of the Pediatric Kidney Stone Clinic at Riley Hospital for Children and expanded access to urologic care for underserved rural and urban communities in the state of Indiana. She also obtained federal grant funding, including a five-year K23 Career Development Award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), entitled “Engaging families in the care of patients with hypospadias.” Dr. Chan led an interdisciplinary team in the development and pilot-testing of a decision support tool for parents of hypospadias patients, the Hypospadias Hub, collaborating with experts from the fields of user-centered design, qualitative research, and human computer interaction. The Hypospadias Hub was acceptable to parents, increased their decision-relevant hypospadias knowledge, and decreased their decisional conflict. Her team’s work received national recognition at the Early Career Investigator’s Showcase at the Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association in September 2021. She was also featured in a panel on surgical shared decision-making at the Annual Scientific Session of the Surgical Outcomes Club in October 2022.

Dr. Chan’s research has continued since joining UNC Urology in April 2021. Her team’s multi-site R01 application is currently under review at the National Institutes of Health.  This study will test the efficacy of the Hypospadias Hub to improve the quality of shared decision-making, increase hypospadias knowledge and decrease decisional conflict and regret. She also earned additional funding from the UNC Caregivers at Carolina Program in 2022 to further expand the Hypospadias Hub into a culturally tailored, bilingual version to support Hispanic/Latino, Spanish-speaking families from diverse backgrounds.

In addition to maintaining a funded research program, Dr. Chan, who is one of six pediatric urology providers at UNC, has been recognized by her patients and peers for her compassionate, patient-centered care.  She has been included in the Castle Connolly Top Doctors List since 2021 and serves as the Director of the Pediatric Kidney Stone Program. She is passionate about mentoring medical students, residents, and junior faculty and is currently enrolled in a rigorous 8-month training program to become a certified executive coach. Upon completion of this program sponsored by the Office of Faculty Affairs and Leadership Development, she will serve as an executive coach to support the well-being and professional development of UNC faculty members.

Dr. Chan is a member of the Hypospadias Task Force of the Societies of Pediatric Urology, and will join the Research Grants and Investigator Support Committee of the American Urological Association in June 2023. She serves as a reviewer for multiple journals including the Journal of Pediatric Urology and the Journal of Urology.