Dr. Ben Chew is originally from Duncan, BC, graduated from UBC Medicine in 1998 and completed his urology residency at the University of Toronto in 2003. His fellowship focused on kidney stones and minimally invasive surgery at the University of Western Ontario. He has been on active staff at VCH since July 2006 where he is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urologic Sciences. Dr. Chew’s research focuses on how kidney stones form and in particular intestinal absorption of minerals that can form kidney stones (calcium and oxalate). His research focuses on genetically modifying bacteria normally used to make yogurt to express a naturally occurring enzyme that breaks down oxalate, thus preventing its absorption into the body where it can combine with calcium to form kidney stones. This novel type of therapy could be administered in yogurt and help patients prevent painful future kidney stone episodes.
Dr. Chew’s other area of research is in the area of biomaterials as they pertain to urinary devices. He is investigating new coatings and special drug-eluting materials for urinary catheters and stents in an attempt to make them more biocompatible and reduce device-related infection, encrustation, and patient discomfort.
Dr. Chew has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles and received several awards including the best Endourology Paper Award at the World Congress of Endourology in 2009, the best Scientific Paper at the World Congress of Endourology in 2005, the Best Abstract Prize for Stone Disease at the American Urological Association Annual Meeting (2005 and 2008) and most recently a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholarship. He has both peer-reviewed funding and funding from industry to continue his research in stone disease and biomaterials.