Benjamin R. Lee, MD

Chief, Division of Urology
Director, GU Cancer - Disease Oriented Strategic Planning Team
Professor, Surgery

Benjamin R. Lee, MD

Chief, Division of Urology
Director, GU Cancer - Disease Oriented Strategic Planning Team
Professor, Surgery

Benjamin R Lee, MD, internationally known for his expertise in kidney cancer surgery, prostate cancer and calculus treatment and innovations, is chief of the Division of Urology in the University of Arizona College of Medicine –Tucson Department of Surgery, and Director of the Genitourinary Cancer and Disease oriented strategic planning team at the University of Arizona Cancer Center.

Dr. Lee joins the UA after serving as a Professor of Urology at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans where he was director of the robotic, laparoscopy and endourology fellowship. Dr. Lee is noted for developing novel techniques for robotic and laparoscopic surgery, and is also a leading authority on robotic treatment of Renal Cell Carcinoma and Prostate cancer, as well as nanotechnology applications in Urologic Oncology.

Dr. Lee graduated from Cornell University magna cum laude. He then attended the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and continued at the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins for residency with Dr. Patrick Walsh and Dr. Alan Partin, learning the art of laparoscopy under Dr. Lou Kavoussi. He joined the faculty at North Shore Long Island Jewish Medical Center, and developed expertise in treatment of stone disease with the founder of Endourology, Dr. Arthur Smith. While at Tulane University he published on nanotechnology applications to improve drug delivery for treatment of renal cell carcinoma; methods to decrease the morbidity of surgery; identifying methods of decreasing recurrence of cancer; explanations why the immune system may be activated differently following laparoscopy compared to open surgery, and further studies focused on preserving kidney function during laparoscopic & robotic kidney surgery.

Dr. Lee’s research has been recognized by awards from the American Urological Association, The Endourological Society and Urology Journal. He was awarded the prestigious Arthur Smith Award in 2008 for his contributions to the discipline of robotics, laparoscopy, and minimally invasive surgery. He was Organizing Secretary of the 31st World Congress of Endourology which was held in New Orleans, LA in 2013. He has served on the Board of Directors for the SES - American Urological Association, currently on the Finance committee for the Endourological Society Editorial board for the Journal of Endourology, and Co-editor of the Journal of Endourology Case Reports. He previously was Chair of the American Urological Association Task Force on e-learning development for AUA University.

Research Interests: 

Dr. Lee has focused his career on advancing new treatments for renal cell carcinoma as well as developing new technologies & techniques for Urologic Oncology. He has participated in many national and international clinical research trials. He is author or co-author of more than 250 manuscripts, book chapters and educational teaching videos. He was instrumental in developing a multidisciplinary nanotechnology research program which included integration of Urology, Biomedical Engineering, Biomolecular engineering, Pathology, and Physics and Materials Engineering.

  • MD: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • BA: Cornell University
Honors and Awards
  • Magna Cum Laude, Cornell University
  • Dean's List, College of Arts and Sciences, Cornell University, 1986-87, 1987-88
  • American Foundation for Urologic Disease, Research Fellowship, 1993
  • Maryland State Senatorial Scholarship, 1991-1994
  • 1st place overall, Case of the Week Competition, Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1992-93
  • 1st place, Best Video, International Telesurgical Telementoring. Lee, BR, Janetschek, G., Bishoff, J.T., Bunyaratavej, P., Kamolpronwijit, W. and Kavoussi L.R. 16th World Congress of Endourology & SWL, New York City, New York, USA, 1998.
  • 1st place, Essay Contest, Laparoscopic renal cryoablation: Acute and long term clinical, radiographic and pathological effects in animal and human studies. Bishoff, J.T., Chan, D.Y., Chen, R.B., Kuszyk, B., Huso, D., Marshall, F.F., and Kavoussi,. L.R....
  • 2nd place award, 1998 Resident Essay Contest, "A Quantitative Histologic Analysis of Collagen Subtypes: The Primary Obstructed and Refluxing Megaureter of Childhood,", Urology. Lee, B.R., Silver, R.I., Partin, A.W., Epstein, J.I., and Gearhart, J.P.
  • 1999 Information Technology Innovators and 21st Century Pioneer Awards Laureate. ComputerWorld Smithsonian Innovation Collection to the Smithsonian Institute, Permanent Research Collection, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institute.
  • Selected to represent the United States for the 2004 Academic Fellowship Program, European Exchange between the American Urological Association and European Association of Urology. Vienna, Austria. March 17-April 6, 2004.
  • Best Video Award, "Laparoscopy Pyeloplasty", 15th Video Urology World Congress, Busan, Korea, June 17-19, 2004.
  • 1st place, Long Island Jewish Medical Center Essay Contest. Tan BJ, Dy JS, Chiu PY, Ost MC, Kushner L, Smith AD, and Lee, BR. Prevention of laparoscopic metastasis:A study of different pneumoperitoneal gases and pressures on transitional cell carcinoma...
  • 1st Place, Endourological Society Essay Contest, Basic Science Section: Ost, MC, Patel, KP, Rastinehad AR, Chu PY, Anderson AE, Smith AD, Lee BR. Penumoperitoneum with carbon dioxide inhibits macrophage TNF-alpha secretion: An etiology for Transitional...
  • Smith Award, presented to the Endourologist who has made the most significant contributions to Minimally Invasive Urology, Robotics, Laparoscopy, Endourology within 10 years of finishing residency. World Congress of Endourology, Shanghai, China, Dec 2008
  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Brady Urological Institute (Baltimore, Maryland)
Board Certifications
  • American Board of Urology

Select Publications


Golan, S., S. C. Johnson, M. J. Maurice, J. H. Kaouk, W. R. Lai, B. R. Lee, S. V. Kheyfets, C. P. Sundaram, D. B. Cahn, R. G. Uzzo, et al., "Safety and early effectiveness of robot-assisted partial nephrectomy for large angiomyolipomas.", BJU Int, vol. 119, issue 5, pp. 755-760, 2017 May. PMID: 27988984
Liu, J., C. Abshire, C. Carry, A. B. Sholl, S. Harsha Mandava, A. Datta, M. Ranjan, C. Callaghan, D. V. Peralta, K. S. Williams, et al., "Nanotechnology combined therapy: tyrosine kinase-bound gold nanorod and laser thermal ablation produce a synergistic higher treatment response of renal cell carcinoma in a murine model.", BJU Int, vol. 119, issue 2, pp. 342-348, 2017 Feb. PMID: 27431021
Abshire, C., H. Y. Murad, J. S. Arora, J. Liu, S. Harsha Mandava, V. T. John, D. B. Khismatullin, and B. R. Lee, "Focused Ultrasound-Triggered Release of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor From Thermosensitive Liposomes for Treatment of Renal Cell Carcinoma.", J Pharm Sci, vol. 106, issue 5, pp. 1355-1362, 2017 May. PMID: 28159640
Wang, J. C., W. R. Lai, E. J. Traore, J. Liu, A. B. Sholl, S. Harsha Mandava, M. M. Maddox, G. C. Mitchell, S. Viriyasiripong, J. L. Silberstein, et al., "Racial Disparities in Histology and Short-Term Renal Functional Outcomes Following Robotic Nephron-Sparing Surgery.", Clin Genitourin Cancer, vol. 15, issue 2, pp. 203-206, 2017 Apr. PMID: 27554583


Powers, M. K., A. Boonjindasup, M. Pinsky, P. Dorsey, M. Maddox, L-M. Su, M. Gettman, C. P. Sundaram, E. P. Castle, J. Y. Lee, et al., "Crowdsourcing Assessment of Surgeon Dissection of Renal Artery and Vein During Robotic Partial Nephrectomy: A Novel Approach for Quantitative Assessment of Surgical Performance.", J Endourol, vol. 30, issue 4, pp. 447-52, 2016 Apr. PMID: 26597352