1. Ferguson family2Tell us a little about yourself. 
    I was born in San Francisco CA, but moved with my family to Charlottesville, VA in 4th grade, and have been in the southeast ever since. I went to UVa undergrad, and UNC-Chapel Hill for MD/PhD. I met my wife Liz at the MD/PhD program retreat in Wrightsville Beach, NC. I took a quick career detour into Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2009, but got back on track with UNC Urology, where I met my current colleagues Jeff Nix and Patrick Selph. After residency, Liz and I went down to Houston, TX in 2016 to pursue fellowships in Urologic Oncology at MD Anderson and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Baylor School of Medicine. There I studied the molecular drivers of bladder cancer with my mentors Colin Dinney, MD and David McConkey, PhD. We and our 3 year old daughter Lane are so excited to be in Birmingham and to work with Dr. Assimos and the outstanding faculty at UAB Urology.

  2. What made you want to become a physician?
    My father was (and still is) an OB-GYN with a focus on Maternal-Fetal Medicine. His enthusiasm for medicine and science had a huge impact on me. He and my Biochemistry professor at UVA (Charles Grisham) sparked an interest in explaining life and disease at the molecular level, which still drives me today. Matt Coward (then a Urology intern, and now a Urologist at UNC) was singularly responsible in showing me how amazing Urology is and how grateful our patients are. He embodied the “thoughtful-surgeon” which I think is very prevalent in Urology in general and UAB Urology in particular.

  3. What is the best part of your job?
    Being entrusted by patients to help them navigate the peaks and valleys of a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

  4. What does the future of medicine look like in your area of interest?
    It’s an exciting time in bladder cancer. We’re starting to understand that there are biologically unique molecular sub-types of bladder cancer and that these subtypes behave differently and respond differently to treatments. New bladder-instillation therapies are being developed for early bladder cancer, and for advanced non-metastatic bladder cancer I think we’re a few years away from considering bladder preservation in select patients. Immunotherapy has revolutionized the treatment options in the metastatic setting, and if we can harness or amplify this effect in early bladder cancer, we could really improve the quality of life for our patients.

  5. How do you like spending your time off? Any other interesting facts you’d like to share?
    We’ve really been enjoying exploring in and around Birmingham since we got here in July. We’ve been to great restaurants (yes, we’ve already been to Highlands – twice!), to hikes at Red Mountain, Oak Mountain and Ruffner Mountain, boating on Logan Martin Lake, Sloss Furnaces, 16th Street Church, Pepper Place, the Birmingham Zoo, Botanical Gardens – the list goes on.

    We’ve got a son on the way (Liz is due Valentine’s day 2019), so we’re busy getting the nursery ready. Lane was convinced she was having a sister before our anatomy ultrasound, and when the ultrasonographer told her she was having a little brother she cried out “But I want a sister!” She’s coming around now, but when brainstorming for names, “Sally” and “Margaret” are two of her favorites…