Funded Projects


With the goal of providing seed dollars for IC research, the ICA Pilot Research Program awarded funds to essential pilot research. A list of recently funded projects is listed below. Categorized by year, the project name and recipient are listed as well as a brief description of the project where possible.

Osteopathic Manipulation as an Intervention for Female IC Patients with High-tone PFD

Deeptha Sastry, MD; Amy Rejba, MSN, CRNP; Brian Sperling, DO; Sandra Mosiniak, CRC; and Kristene Whitmore, MD, The Pelvic and Sexual Health Institute, Philadelphia, PA


In female IC patients with high-tone pelvic floor dysfunction, these researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of osteopathic manipulation of the pelvis and lumbar spine. Osteopathic manipulation is a hands-on technique that involves working with muscles and joints using stretching, gentle pressure, and resistance. It is proposed that using this technique will result in a reduction of IC and PFD symptoms.

Validation of a Rapid and High Throughput Diagnosis of IC by Infrared Microscopy

Luis E. Rodriguez-Saona, PhD; Jason P. Gilleran, MD; and C. A. Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD, DACVN

The Ohio State University

These researchers will test the diagnostic abilities of infrared spectroscopy (IRS), a technique used to identify substances by analyzing the spectrum produced when a substance absorbs certain wavelengths of infrared radiation. They propose that IRS may provide a simple, rapid, accurate, non-invasive screening and analysis tool for IC. They will use IRS to obtain characteristic “fingerprint” patterns of dry blood and urine samples from people with IC. The ability to identify IC quickly and accurately using small serum samples could help with early treatment intervention as well as monitor the effectiveness of various IC therapies.

Natural History of 314 Incident IC/PBS Cases

John W. Warren, MD, University of Maryland School of Medicine


This ongoing project (Events Preceding IC or EPIC study) at the University of Maryland is helping to further the understanding of the natural history of IC. Thus far data has been collected on 314 cases, including detailed information on IC risk factors, onset of symptoms, and description of symptoms. This grant will help researchers to further investigate their cases by scheduling and conducting follow-up telephone interviews, verifying, analyzing, and interpreting data, and preparing results for publication.

Influence of Endometriosis on Bladder Function: Basic Studies in a Rodent Model

Karen J. Berkley, PhD, Florida State University


This researcher has been investigating endometriosis, a chronic, painful disorder defined by growths of endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) in abnormal locations. Endometriosis and IC have been shown to co-occur. Moreover, both conditions are poorly understood. This researcher has also been investigating asymptomatic “silent” bladder inflammation in which the bladder is inflamed but no symptoms are present. This project will use a rodent model that replicates endometrial growths and “silent” bladder inflammation in women. These two contrasting conditions (IC/endometriosis and asymptomatic “silent” bladder inflammation) appear to have opposite effects on nerve activation and further study may help to shed light on the role of the spinal cord in these conditions.

Year 3: Measurements and Evaluation of Trends in IC (METRIC) Study

NORC at the University of Chicago in conjunction with the ICA

Immortalized Bladder Urothelial Cells for IC Research: Novel Tool for IC Scientists

Raymond Rackley, MD, Glickman Urological Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Year 2: Measurements and Evaluation of Trends in IC (METRIC) Study

NORC at the University of Chicago in conjunction with the ICA

Year 1: Measurements and Evaluation of Trends in IC (METRIC) Study

NORC at the University of Chicago in conjunction with the ICA


In order to have a better understanding of the impact of IC on the lives of those living with the condition, the ICA and NORC are developing an extensive survey to gather information on life experiences related to IC. The purpose of this survey is to help to build upon our current knowledge of IC, and to better understand the possible causes of IC and the limitations caused by the disease. The survey entitled ICA Measurement and Evaluation of Trends Relevant to IC (METRIC) is a detailed, anonymous survey that will be sent to approximately 7,500 IC patients across the county.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture in the Treatment of IC: Relationship of Outcome to Modulation of the Stress Response System

Larissa Rodriguez, MD, UCLA School of Medicine


Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) emphasizes that emotional well-being and physical health are linked. Dr. Rodríguez proposes that people with IC suffer from imbalances in responses to stress and physical and emotional stimuli, making them more prone to experience pain and urinary symptoms. Therefore, she plans to study the differences in responses to fear and stress in patients with IC and those without it. Co-funded with the Fishbein Family IC Research Foundation.

Multinational Interstitial Cystitis Association 2004 Conference, Rome, Italy

Philip Hanno, MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania

Safety & Efficacy of Oral L-Tryptophan for Treatment of IC: Prospective Study

Arndt van Ophoven, MD, PhD, Department of Urology, University of Munster, Germany


This study investigated the use of the amino acid l-tryptophan to treat IC.



Revised February 4, 2013