Larissa V. Rodríguez, M.D.

Larissa V. Rodríguez, M.D.

Larissa V. Rodríguez, M.D., a noted expert in female pelvic medicine with more than 15 years of clinical and research experience in urology, has joined the University of Southern California Institute of Urology, part of Keck Medicine of USC. The appointment is effective as of May 1.

Rodríguez joins an elite group of faculty urologists at the USC Institute of Urology as professor of urology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.  Dr. Rodríguez will serve as vice chair of academics for the USC Institute of Urology, director of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) at the Keck Medicine of USC-Beverly Hills clinic and director of the FPMRS Fellowship at the Keck School of Medicine. Rodríguez comes from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she was co-director of the Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery and professor of urology.

“Dr. Rodriguez is a tremendous addition to our FPMRS Program”, said Dr. David Ginsberg, director of the FPMRS program at USC. Her experience in our subspecialty, as well as her enthusiasm for teaching students and fellows the clinical skills and research methods she has developed and continues to perfect are of significant benefit to USC and our patients. We are delighted that she has joined our faculty.”

Rodríguez’s goal is to help establish USC as a beacon of hope to women who feared they had nowhere to turn for pelvic floor problems including incontinence, urinary frequency, bladder pain and vaginal prolapse. According to the American Urogynecological Society, one in three women suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD), a range of symptoms including bladder and bowel problems as well as pelvic pain.

“Women are affected by a number of pelvic conditions that devastate their quality of life but are seldom discussed by the public, community or even physicians,”said Dr. Rodriguez. “Many suffer in silence thinking this is part of normal aging. It does not have to be that way. There are numerous therapies that can improve or cure these conditions, allowing women to lead normal and productive lives. I am excited to join USC and the USC Institute of Urology where the vision, resources and talent exist to bring urologic care to the forefront in the nation.”

Rodríguez will continue her clinical and basic science research with a goal of preventing and improving treatment options for women. Current research projects include developing new minimally invasive surgical techniques to treat prolapse, incontinence and bladder disorders. She also will continue as a principal investigator in the National Institutes of Health-sponsored Multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Chronic Pelvic Pain (MAPP) network, enhancing USC’s collaboration with other institutions to improve understanding of bladder pain.

As director of the FPMRS Fellowship program, Rodríguez plans to develop a premier multidisciplinary training program in pelvic floor disorders for fellows that will be an important educational resource for residents and medical students. To date, she has trained nearly 40 fellows, medical students and residents, most of who are in academic positions or in charge of their own laboratories.

Rodríguez, who was born in Puerto Rico, earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She earned her medical degree at Stanford University and performed her residency there, continuing her post-doctoral training in a female/reconstructive urology fellowship at UCLA. She was on faculty at UCLA for over 10 years before moving to USC.

Rodríguez’s research has been published in 75 journals and urology publications. She has received numerous awards, including the Jahnigen Career Development Scholars Award from the American Geriatrics Society and the Zimskind Award, given by the Society of Female Urology and Urodynamics for significant contributions to the field of pelvic medicine, reconstruction and voiding dysfunction.

Her professional memberships include the American Urological Association, International Continence Society, International Urogynecological Association American Urogynecological Society, Confederación Americana de Urología, Society for Urodynamics and Female Urology, Society of Women in Urology, American Association of Clinical Urologists, Association of Women Surgeons, Geriatric Urology Society, Asosiación Chilena de Urología and Asociación Colombiana de Urología.

“Dr. Rodríguez enhances the reputation of the USC Institute of Urology. Our FPMRS team now counts amongst the leading groups for female urologic care in the country” said Inderbir Gill, M.D., director of the USC Institute of Urology.

by Leslie Ridgeway