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Arthur Burnett, MD

Patrick C. Walsh Professor of Urology
Professor of Urology

See Research on Pubmed

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  • Patrick C. Walsh Professor of Urology
  • Professor of Urology

Centers & Institutes

  • James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute


Cystocele, Enterocele, Erectile Dysfunction, Male Sexual Dysfunction, Pelvic Floor Disorders, Pelvic Relaxation, Penile Cancer, Penile Deformities, Peyronie's Disease, Prostate Cancer, Rectocele, Scrotal Cancer, Sexual Disorders and Dysfunctions, Stress Incontinence, Urethral Cancer, Urethral Diverticulum, Urethral Fistulas, Urological Oncology, Urology, Urology / Urologic Surgery, Urology, Adult

Research Interests

Urethral cancer; Erection physiology; Cystocele; Enterocele; Erectile dysfunction; Male sexual dysfunction; Pelvic floor disorders; Pelvic relaxation; Penile cancer; Penile deformities; Peyronie's disease; Prostate cancer; Rectocele; Scrotal cancer; Sexual disorders and dysfunctions; Stress incontinence


Dr. Arthur Burnett is a professor of urology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He is the Patrick C. Walk Professor of Urology. Dr. Burnett is the director of the Male Consultation Clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital, a clinician-scientist at the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, and director of the Basic Science Laboratory in Neurourology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Dr. Burnett received his undergraduate degree in biology from Princeton University and his medical degree at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in surgery, and subsequently residency and fellowship in urology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Upon completion of his urology residency, he received an American Foundation of Urologic Disease New Investigator Award to continue research work into the regulatory mechanisms of penile erection. He has maintained an active laboratory in neurourology since that time.

Dr. Burnett is an established expert in the areas of prostate cancer, lower genitourinary tract malignancies (penile, scrotal, and urethral cancers), lower genitourinary tract reconstruction (pelvic trauma and urethral stricture disease), erectile dysfunction and penile abnormalities (including Peyronies disease), and female urology (including urinary incontinence, urethral abnormalities, and prolapsed pelvic structures).

He is an expert prostate cancer surgeon, having performed over 2,000 radical prostatectomies where he has proven his skill at applying a single, minimally invasive 3-inch incision just above the pubic bone to facilitate rapid recovery and cosmesis and using a nerve-sparing technique. He has also developed management approaches to improve postoperative functional outcomes following radical prostatectomy.

Dr. Burnett is recognized for being a world-authority in the science and medicine of erectile dysfunction. He contributed original discoveries of the nitric oxide biochemical mechanisms in erectile tissue, which paved the way for the clinical development of oral medications to treat erectile dysfunction such as Viagra. He has also pioneered work to develop therapies to protect penile nerve function required for improved erectile function recovery after radical prostatectomy.

Dr. Burnett has written more than 150 original peer-reviewed articles, along with numerous additional articles, editorials, and book chapters, relating to his biomedical research and clinical activities. His work has appeared in many prominent journals such as Science, Nature Medicine, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Urology, Urology, and Journal of Andrology. He has sat on various advisory committees including the Urology Study Section, National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review and FDA Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs.


  • English


The Society of University Urologists, 2006-present

Society of Urologic Prosthetic Surgeons, 2006-present

American Society for Peripheral Nerve, 2003-present

International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, 2000-present

The American College of Surgeons, 1999-present

The Society of Genitourinary Reconstructive Surgeons, 1998-present

American Urogynecologic Society, 1998-present

Urodynamics Society, 1997-present

The Society of Black Academic Surgeons, 1997-present

International Society for Impotence Research, 1996-present

Monumental City Medical Society, 1994-present

National Medical Association, 1994-present

Sexual Medicine Society of North America, 1994-present

American Society of Andrology, 1994-present

Society of Government Service Urologists, 1991-present

American Urological Association, 1990-present

American Medical Association, 1988-present

Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of the State of Maryland, 1985-present

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Baltimore Branch, 1984-present

Reserve Officers’ Association of the United States, 1984-present

Sigma XI Scientific Research Society, 1984-present

Clinical Trial Keywords

  • Erectile Dysfunction
Additional Resources +
  • Education +


    • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore MD ) (1988)


    • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Urology (Baltimore MD ) (1993)


    • Urology, American Board of Urology (2007)
  • Research & Publications +

    Research Summary

    Dr. Burnett has led the basic science laboratory in neurourology for the last 10 years. Principal research studies have focused on the neurophysiology of the pelvis along with molecular mechanisms largely specific to nerve regulation of erectile and voiding functions.

    Original discoveries in the laboratory include the description of nitric oxide as the principal neurotransmitter regulating penile erection. This discovery contributed to an understanding of the science of penile erection in the early 1990s from which drugs such as Viagra, Levita and Cialis were developed. The laboratory has continued major studies in the areas of nitric oxide biology in the pelvis as they relate to other erection disorders such as priapism, a condition of prolonged penile erection.

    In the past several years, the laboratory has focused on improving outcomes with radical prostatectomy, particularly as these relate to the recovery of urinary and erectile functions. Primary efforts have gone toward the investigation and development of chemical compounds for application in men undergoing radical prostatectomy in hopes that erectile function will be better preserved. Collaboration with neuroscientists at this institution have established a role for neuroimmunophilins, special proteins localized to nerves which appear to be the receptor molecules for specialized drugs that can be taken to thereby protect the nerves from significant damage. Experimental models in rats with nerve injury leading to erectile dysfunction similar to that occurring in men after radical prostatectomy have been used demonstrating the major potential for drugs based on this pathway to be developed and used in the near future.

    Ongoing projects involve the study of additional drugs that may serve the purpose of recovering penile nerve function in men undergoing radical prostatectomy.

    Selected Publications View all on PubMed

    1. Miner M, Nehra A, Jackson G, Bhasin S, Billups K, Burnett AL, Buvat J, Carson C, Cunningham G, Ganz P, Goldstein I, Guay A, Hackett G, Kloner RA, Kostis JB, Laflamme KE, Montorsi P, Ramsey M, Rosen R, Sadovsky R, Seftel A, Shabsigh R, Vlachopoulos C, Wu F. “All Men with Vasculogenic Erectile Dysfunction Require a Cardiovascular Workup.” Am J Med. 2013 Nov 1. pii: S0002-9343(13)00927-3. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2013.10.013.
    2. Rowland DL, Adamski BA, Neal CJ, Myers AL, Burnett AL. “Self-Efficacy as a Relevant Construct in Understanding Sexual Response and Dysfunction.” J Sex Marital Ther. 2013 Oct 28.
    3. Chaux A, Munari E, Cubilla AL, Hicks J, Lecksell K, Burnett AL, Netto GJ. “Immunohistochemical Expression of the Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Pathway in Penile Squamous Cell Carcinomas: A Tissue Microarray Study of 112 Cases.” Histopathology. 2013 Nov 27. doi: 10.1111/his.12338.
    4. Burnett AL. “Erection Rehabilitation after Radical Prostatectomy: Definite Purpose, Indefinite Strategy.” Eur Urol. 2013 Oct 28. pii: S0302-2838(13)01091-9. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2013.10.018.
    5. Musicki B, Bivalacqua TJ, Champion HC, Burnett AL. “Sildenafil promotes eNOS activation and inhibits NADPH oxidase in the transgenic sickle cell mouse penis.” J Sex Med. 2014 Feb;11(2):424-30. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12391.


    The basic science laboratory in neurourology, headed by Arthur L. Burnett, M.D., is one of the independent research laboratories within the Brady Urological Institute.

    The laboratory focuses on biological mechanisms of the pelvis as these relate to erectile and voiding dysfunctions primarily. The direction of research aims to understand the neurophysiology as well as vascular physiology of the lower genitourinary tract, with an emphasis on the translational aspect of basic science discoveries relevant to the human condition. Overall, the laboratory is geared toward improving and preserving erectile and voiding dysfunctions that occur as a result of pelvic disorders and consequences from treatment of these disorders.

    Clinical Trials

    Erythropoietin to Enhance Erection Recovery in Men Following Radical Prostatectomy (EPO)

    Health Interventions in Men Undergoing Radical Prostatectomy (HIM-UP)

    Viberect Penile Vibratory Stimulation to Enhance Recovery of Erectile Function and Urinary Continence Post-Prostatectomy

    Assessment of Penile Vibratory Stimulation Using the Viberect in Men With Mild-Moderate and No Erectile Dysfunction

    Androgen Regulation of Priapism in Sickle Cell Disease

  • Academic Affiliations & Courses +
  • Activities & Honors +


    Faculty Teaching Award, Department of Urology, 2010

    Edward J. Stegman CPA Memorial Award (4.0 GPA); Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, 2009

    Alumni Member; Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, 2009

    Certificate of Appreciation; American Society of Andrology, 2008

    First Place Award for Excellence; 27th Annual Jackson Hole Urology Conference, 2007

    Zorgniotti-Newman Prize, for Best Paper on Clinical Research in Sexual Medicine; 12th World Congress of the International Society for Sexual Medicine, 2006

    Jean Francois Ginestiẻ Prize, for Best Paper on Basic Science on Sexual Medicine (co-author); 11th World Congress of the International Society for Sexual and Impotence Research, 2004

    Emil Tanagho Prize, for Best Innovative Research (co-author); 10th World Congress of the International Society for Sexual and Impotence Research, 2002

    Yamanouchi Best Abstract Prize in Impotence; American Urological Association, 2001

    Fellow; American College of Surgeons, 1999

    Pfizer Scholar in Urology Award; Pfizer, Inc., 1999

    Yamanouchi Best Abstract Prize in Impotence; American Urological Association, 1998

    Merck Clinician Scientist Award; Merck & Co., 1996

    First Place, Lapides Annual Essay Contest on Urodynamic and Neurourology Research; American Urological Association, 1996

    Searle New lnvestigator Research Award; AmericanFoundationfor Urologic Disease, Inc., 1994

    Male Reproduction/Urology Prize Paper; American Fertility Society, 1993

    Second Place, Lapides Annual Essay Contest on Urodynamic and Neurourology Research; American Urological Association, 1993

    First Place, Laboratory Research, Annual Resident Prize Essay Contest; American Urological Association, 1993

    First Place, Basic Science, Resident Essay Competition; Mid-Atlantic Section of the American Urological Association, 1992

    Student Merit Award; American Society of Andrology, 1992

    Young Investigator Award for Post-Doctoral Investigation, Clinical Science; The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1992

    Summer Research Fellowship Program; Clinical Neurogenetics Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Health, Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center, 1985

    Charles M. Cannon Memorial Prize; Biology Department Thesis Symposium, Princeton University, 1984

    Distinguished Military Graduate; Princeton University, R.O.T.C. Unit, 1984

    Order of Merit List; R.O.T.C. Advanced Camp, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, 1983

    Eagle Scout; Boy Scouts of America, 1976

    Professional Activities

    American Urological Association Male Circumcision Task Force, 2008-present

    Membership Committee, Mid-Atlantic Section of the American Urological Association, 2007

    AUA Research Council Strategic Workgroup, 2007

    NIDDK Workshop on Advancing Urologic Science and Career Development, 2007

    American Urological Association Prostate Cancer Guideline Update Panel, 2006

    External Examiner, Jamaican Board of Urology Examination Committee (West Indies University), 2006

    Board of Directors, Sexual Medicine Society of North America, 2005-present

    Board of Directors, Mid-Atlantic Section of the American Urological Association, 2004-2007

    American Urological Association Prostate Cancer Outcomes Working Group, 2004-2006

    American Society of Andrology Executive Council, 2004-present

    FDA Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs, 2003-present

    American Society of Andrology 2003 Program Committee, 2001-present; 2003 Postgraduate Course Chairman

    American Board of Urology Examination Committee; 2001-present

    Urology Study Section, NIH Center for Scientific Review, 2001-present (four-year term)

    Society for the Study of Impotence, Website Committee, 2000-present

    Mid-Atlantic Section of the American Urological Association, Inc.:
    Nominating Committee, 1999-2000, Member;
    Arrangements Committee, 2001-2002, Chairman

    Johns Hopkins Men''s Health Advisory Board, 1998-present

    National Kidney Foundation of Maryland Medical Advisory Board, 1997-present

    Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Women''s Health Center Oversight Committee, 1997-present

    Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Diabetes Center''s Advisory Board, 1997-present

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