Chief, Division of Urology
Director, GU Cancer - Disease Oriented Strategic Planning Team
Benjamin R. Lee, MD, an internationally recognized surgeon, scientist and innovator has been named Professor and Chief of the Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Tucson and Banner University Medical Center Tucson. In addition to his position as Chief, Division of Urology, he will also serve as Director of the GU Cancer and Disease Oriented Strategic Planning Team, University of Arizona Cancer Center; and Team Leader for Urological Imaging, Department of Medical Imaging. Dr. Lee will assume his new duties in June.
Before joining the University of Arizona, Dr. Lee served as Professor of Urology at Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, where he was also the Director of Endourology, Laparoscopy and Robotic Surgery fellowship program. Dr. Lee, a leading authority on robotic surgical therapy of renal cell carcinoma and prostate cancer, is noted for his innovations in robotic and laparoscopic surgery. His research also encompasses the therapeutic application of nanotechnology for the treatment of urologic malignancies.
After graduating magna cum laude from Cornell University, he attended the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he also did his residency in urology at the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute. There he was mentored by Drs. Patrick Walsh and Alan Partin, and was trained in laparoscopy by Dr. Lou Kavoussi. After completing his training at Johns Hopkins, he joined the faculty at North Shore Long Island Jewish Medical Center, where he developed additional expertise in the treatment of stone disease with the founder of endourology, Dr. Arthur Smith.
Dr. Lee has focused his career on urologic oncology, especially the treatment of renal cell carcinoma. He is author or co-author of more than 200 manuscripts, book chapters and educational videos. He has published on applications of nanotechnology for improving drug delivery in the treatment of renal cell carcinoma; methodologies for lessening the morbidity of surgery and for decreasing recurrences of cancer; variations in the immune response following laparoscopic versus open surgery; and innovative approaches for the preservation of renal function during laparoscopic and 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 many contributions to the discipline of robotic, laparoscopic, 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 also chaired the American Urological Association Task Force on e-learning for “AUA University”. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the SES - American Urological Association, the finance committee of the Endourological Society, the editorial board of the Journal of Endourology, and is Co-editor of the Journal of Endourology Case Reports.