Ian F. Pollack, MD

Professor, Neurological Surgery


4401 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15224
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MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1984)


Signal transduction pathways in glioma growth, molecular markers of glioma prognosis.

Research Summary

Dr. Pollack, Walter Dandy Professor of Neurological Surgery, is Co-Leader of the UPCI Brain Tumor Program and chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. He is also chair of the Central Nervous System Tumor Committee of the Children's Oncology Group and the Local Delivery Committee of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium, where he serves both on the Steering Committee and the Executive Committee. Dr. Pollack graduated magna cum laude from Emory University in 1980, where he earned a BS degree in chemistry. He received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1984, and then completed a surgical internship and neurosurgical residency at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Prior to joining the faculty of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh in 1992, he was awarded the 1991 Van Wagenen Traveling Fellowship, which afforded him a year of subspecialty training in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the Neuro-Oncology Laboratory of the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, and the Laboratory of Tumor Biology of the University of Uppsala in Sweden. He currently directs NIH-funded studies examining molecular predictors of outcome in glioma and is Program Leader for a Program Project that is studying novel strategies for brain tumor therapy. His specialized areas of interest include pediatric neurosurgery, pediatric neuro-oncology, craniofacial surgery, congenital spinal abnormalities, and brain tumor clinical trials. Dr. Pollack has published more than 170 papers in refereed journals, numerous book chapters and invited papers, and has edited two books on childhood brain tumors. He is co-editor of the recently published book Principles and Practice of Pediatric Neurosurgery.


Jane EP, Premkumar DR, Cavaleri JM, Sutera PA, Rajasekar T, Pollack I. Dinaciclib, a CDK inhibitor promotes proteasomal degradation of Mcl-1 and enhances ABT-737 mediated cell death in malignant human glioma cell lines. J Pharmacol Exp Ther [Epub ahead of print], 2015.
Jakacki RI, Burger P, Kocak M, Boyett J, Goldwein J, Mehta M, Packer RJ, Tarbell N, Pollack IF. Outcome and prognostic factors for children with supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors (SPNET) treated with carboplatin during craniospinal radiotherapy: A report from the Children’s Oncology Group. Pediatr Blood Cancer 62:776-783, 2015.
Pollack IF, Jakacki RI, Butterfield LH, Hamilton RL, Panigrahy A, Potter DM, Connelly AK, Dibridge SA, Whiteside TL, Okada H. Antigen-specific immune responses and clinical outcome after vaccination with glioma-associated antigen peptides and Polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid stabilized by lysine and carboxymethylcellulose in children with newly diagnosed malignant brainstem and nonbrainstem gliomas. J Clin Oncol 32:2050-2058, 2014. 

Jane, E.P. and Pollack, I.F. The heat shock protein antagonist 17-AAG potentiates the activity of enzastaurin against malignant human glioma cells. Cancer Lett 268: 46-55, 2008.

Jane, E.P., Premkumar, D.R. and Pollack, I.F. AG490 influences UCN-01-induced cytotoxicity in glioma cells in a p53-dependent fashion, correlating with effects on BAX cleavage and BAD phosphorylation. Cancer Lett 207: 66-46, 2007.

Pollack, I.F., Hamilton, R.L., Sobol, R.W., Burnham, J., Yates, A.J.,Holmes, E.J., Zhou, T. and Finlay, J.L.O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase expression strongly correlates with outcome in childhood malignant gliomas: Results from the CCG-945 cohort. J Clin Oncol 24: 3431-3437, 2006.

Premkumar, D.R., Arnold, B. and Pollack, I.F. Cooperative inhibitory effect of ZD1839 (Iressa) in combination with 17-AAG on glioma cell growth. Molec Carcinogenesis 45: 288-301, 2006.

Pollack, I.F., Finkelstein, S.D., Woods, J., Burnham, J., Holmes, E.J., Hamilton, R.L/, Yates, A.J., Boyett, J.M., Finlay, J.L. and Sposto, R. Expression of p53 and prognosis in malignant gliomas in children. N Engl J Med 346: 420-427, 2002.