The funds and energies of the Urological Research Foundation (URF) are directed to research for the prevention, detection, treatment and cure of diseases of the prostate and most specifically, prostate cancer.
The mission of the Urological Research Foundation is to support research and patient education in prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer causes the death of tens of thousands of men every year and terrible dysfunction and suffering for additional tens of thousands. The need for more medical progress against this disease is compellingly clear.
The vision, over 20 years ago, which led to the URF and which guides the work of the foundation to this day, is that we must support the energies, efforts and expertise of those who treat prostate cancer and those who are searching for a cure.
The Medical Director of the URF, Dr. William J. Catalona, leads one of America’s premier teams of physicians and scientists in this endeavor. Providing the support to them that would accelerate the progress for both treatment of prostate cancer and the search for a cure is a primary goal of the URF.
The URF also supports QUEST, a free newsletter to inform readers of the latest advances in prostate cancer treatment and research as well as this website.
A focus on genetic studies is the new direction for cancer research and present resources of the Foundation are allocated so that Dr. Catalona may continue his prostate cancer research relating to sib-pair analysis (pairs of siblings), genotyping and follow up molecular genetics.
Ultimately, genetic testing will provide the understanding for what causes prostate cancer, and then guide the way to effective and preventative treatments.
Dr. Catalona and his research collaborators have discovered several new regions statistically associated with prostate cancer. This discovery means that some fraction of men may carry a mutated gene that predisposes them to prostate cancer.
This research also found that a genetic connection does exist between prostate and breast cancer. There are genes that when mutated in men cause prostate cancer and when mutated in women cause breast cancer.
Thus a mother can pass prostate cancer on to a son and a father can pass breast cancer to a daughter.
In addition to providing for the development of new blood tests to identify individuals who are genetically predisposed to prostate cancer, further research in this area may also provide important insights into preventing prostate cancer and developing new and more effective treatments for the disease.
The present story of the URF is of a foundation in the forefront of genetic research in the area of prostate cancer, but the past history of the URF is also impressive.
Its founder, Elwin R. Smith, began the URF in 1979 with the intent to focus on the health problems facing middle-aged and elder men with emphasis on prostate cancer research. He attracted a dedicated group to serve as the Foundation’s board, and together they began to solicit individual donations. The funds raised have made possible many major steps in the early recognition of prostate cancer.
Dr. Catalona, Medical Director of the URF, was the first to use the prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test in early prostate cancer detection. The free PSA test has been a recent addition to prostate cancer diagnosis, and again, Dr. Catalona and his associates were key participants in its development and use.
Board of Directors
Thomas A. McGurk, Jr. – President
Mr. McGurk serves as treasurer of Steel Grip, Inc., a personal protective clothing manufacturer headquartered in Danville, Illinois. Additionally, he is an active member of his community, serving on multiple boards, such as the board of the Covington Community Foundation, Salvation Army board, Danville Area Community College Foundation and board of directors for the Bank of Western Indiana. He and his wife, Janet Ebershoff McGurk, reside in Covington and are proud parents of three children: sons Drew and Kyle, and daughter Shannon.
Robert M. Stuck – Vice President
Robert M. Stuck is founder and Chairman of Marshall Air Systems, Inc., headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. He founded the company in 1976 to address the unique environmental concerns of the restaurant industry, precipitated by both newly created air-quality standards and significant increases in energy cost. Bob is a mechanical engineer and holds numerous patents spanning the fields of aerodynamics, food-processing and food-holding equipment. Marshall Air manufactures equipment in these categories and markets it to the quick-service restaurant industry throughout the world. After leaving rural Indiana in 1971, Bob realized that his outdoor activities could be greatly enhanced by making his home in South Carolina. A practicing conservationist, he and his wife, Debbie, own over 4,500 acres of farm and timber land in South Carolina, where many acres are planted and flooded for wildlife habitat. His commitment also includes being a life member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, NRA, the South Carolina Waterfowl Association, Safari Club International and Ducks Unlimited. Bob and Debbie live in Lake Wylie, South Carolina outside of Charlotte, North Carolina with their family of two English Setters.
James L. Rothkopf – Secretary/Treasurer
Mr. Rothkopf served as Chief Financial Officer of the American Friends of Hebrew University in New York and previously held that position in several other large not-for-profits, including Hadassah and UJA Federation of New York. In addition, he served as Vice President Finance of Clarkson Industries a holding company owned by a UK parent involved in air and water filtration machinery, Vice President Finance of Globe Publishing Company and Assistant Controller of Esquire Inc. Mr. Rothkopf also spent five years at Arthur Andersen & Co. and he served 12 years on the Board of Directors of Temple Beth El in Stamford, CT. He is married to Sally and has two daughters and two grandchildren.
Gerald Hoffschmidt graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Civil Engineering, served in the U.S. Army, and worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He retired in 2010 as President of E.W. Olson Roofing, Inc. in Chicago. He has served on and was an officer for a number of industry-related local and national boards. He and his wife have two adult daughters and currently live in Venice, Florida but return to Chicago each summer and fall.
Mr. McConnell is a private investor living in La Jolla, California. He is retired from Amgen Inc., where he held the position of president of Amgen Greater China. Previously Mr. McConnell worked for Abbott Laboratories holding several international general manager and business development positions, living and working in Japan, Australia, Hong Kong and Germany. Mr. McConnell graduated in 1970 from Gannon University with a bachelor’s degree in finance.
William J. McKenna
William J. McKenna is CEO of Research Measurement Technologies, Inc., developing innovative software solutions for the media and advertising industries. A serial entrepreneur and inventor, Bill recently served as: Measurement Sciences Head and Product Lead for BARC India, a joint industry non-profit that provides TV audience measurements for all of India; SVP of Arbitron (now owned by Nielsen); CEO of IMMI (sold to Arbitron) and; Founder & CEO of Mediafax, a TV measurement service in Puerto Rico. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Graduate School of Business, Bill is a military veteran, retired US naval officer/aviator with the rank of Captain, married and the father of five children.
James J. McNally
James J. McNally has over thirty years of international marketing and senior management experience with major companies including Wilkinson Sword Ltd, Phillip Morris and most recently was Executive Vice President of Dupont Protein Technologies. His work included the development and implementation of nutritional and food programs with organizations and governmental ministries in many countries, including Russia where he was awarded an Honorary PhD for his work in expanding the food supply. He is currently a board member of various companies as well as a business consultant. He resides in London.
After serving as a Vice President at Marquette University, John Peters began his 50 year career in Financial Services: Sr VP, Managing Director & Board at Loewi & Co; Sr VP, Managing Director, Division President at Kemper Financial Services; President of Dreman Value Management; and recently retired as Vice Chairman of OakRidge Investments. John has served on numerous corporate boards as well as community service boards. John and his wife, Pam, have three children residing in the Chicago area and nine grandchildren.
Gary M. Petrucci is a Senior Vice President – Financial Consultant at RBC Wealth Management in Minneapolis, MN. He serves on the Boards of Animal Cell Therapies Inc., Stemedica Cell Technologies Inc., 3D Sport Technology Inc., Urological Research Foundation, and University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. In the past, he has served on the Boards of Cardiovascular Systems Inc. (former Chairman), America’s Back & Neck, Lettieri’s Inc. and the St. Cloud State University Foundation. He is married to Maureen and has two grown daughters.
Paul Sullivan is a graduate of University of Massachusetts, accounting and University of Chicago, MBA. He spent my career in the specialty metals trading and metals processing industries and retired in 2014. He has been active with and on the board of the Western Golf Association and the Evans Scholars Foundation for 20 years. The Evans Scholars Foundation is the largest privately funded scholarship in the United States. He and his wife, Marsha Dittmer, have mentored many young people over the years.
A. Richard Busscher
A. Richard Busscher is President of A.R. Busscher Construction company, a third generation builder and residential developer. Dick recently completed the development of a thirteen unit condominium building in Winnetka, Illinois. In connection with his background as a builder and developer, Dick spent five (5) years on the Village of Winnetka Design Review Board. He serves as a Director and Secretary to Over the Rainbow Assocation (OTR), a non-profit organization that provides accessible, barrier-free housing and job opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Busscher also has a 43-year career as a high school and college football official. Busscher pursues his passion for flying in his spare time. He holds a BA from Lake Forest College and has pursued graduate studies at Northwestern University and Chicago Technical College. He is the proud father of two adult sons.
James G. Sansone
James G. Sansone is a principal of Sansone Group, a real estate development and property management firm. He is a licensed attorney and is active in charitable, civic and social organizations. He is a member of the Missouri Bar Association, The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, and a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). He is a St. Louis Zoo Commissioner. Married to Kathryn, he has ten children.
Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West – U.S. Army, Ret
Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West, U.S. Army, Ret, is President and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis. He is also a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, a Fox News Contributor, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Roninâ€™s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom. Col. West served in the U.S. Army for 21 years. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star; Meritorious Service Medal (two Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters, one Valor Device); Army Achievement Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster); Valorous Unit Award; Air Assault Badge; and the Master Parachutist Badge. In 2010, he was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District. As a member of the 112th Congress, Col. West introduced seven major pieces of legislation. He is married to Dr. Angela Graham-West and they have two daughters.
Bob Dole is well-known and well-respected for his participation in the US government, serving first in the US House for eight years and then in the US Senate from 1969 until his nomination as Republican candidate for President in 1996. He was both Senate majority and minority leader. After his diagnosis of prostate cancer in 1991, he became an outspoken advocate for prostate cancer testing.
Major League Baseball Executive VP for Baseball Operations.
Joe Torre is an American professional baseball executive, serving as a special assistant to the Commissioner since 2020. He previously served in the capacity of Major League Baseball’s chief baseball officer from 2011 to 2020. Previously, he was Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers and before that, Manager for the New York Yankees. He has been inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame. In addition to his support for the Urological Research Foundation, he is involved with several charities including the Starfight Children’s Foundation, the American Heart Association, and CaP Cure, an organization that raises money for prostate cancer research. He is married to Ali and has four children.
Robert J. Watson
Bob Watson rejoined the New York Yankees organization in the mid-90s and had his first season as General Manger in 1996. As a former ALL-STAR, he started all six games of the ’81 World Series and led the Yankees with two homers and seven RBIs. He and his son run Watson & Company, an Entertainment Finance Consultant firm and he is the principal in two technology and e-commerce based companies. He is Co-Chair of the 2000 Olympic Baseball Steering and Selection Committee and was Co-Chair of the 1999 Pan Am Games Steering and Selection Committee for baseball. In 1994, he underwent successful prostate cancer surgery and has become an active advocate of the PSA blood screening test for men. Married to Carol, he has two children.
William J. Catalona, M.D. – Medical Director of the Urological Research Foundation
Dr. Catalona is respected worldwide as a surgeon and as a researcher in the areas of prostate cancer and prostate related diseases. His recognized success in nerve-sparing surgery in prostatectomies has made him one of the most requested surgeons in the country. He has performed over 7,000 such operations.
Dr. Catalona conceived and ran the largest prostate cancer screening program in the country. He is known for having discovered that the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test could be used as a first-line screening test for prostate cancer. His screening studies of 35,000 men in St. Louis led to the approval of the PSA test and the free PSA test by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He also led the pivotal study that led to FDA approval of the Prostate Health Index test (PHI).
Dr. Catalona can be reached at 312-695-4471 for patient appointments, (fax 312-695-7030), Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, 675 N. St. Clair, Suite 20-150, Chicago, IL 60611.
Read Dr. Catalona’s full bio here.