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News Releases

For Immediate Release

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Neurosurgeon Receives Grant for Continued Research in Field of Neuro-Oncology

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC’s Chief of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery Ian F. Pollack, MD, has received a grant from the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation for his pioneering work in the field of neuro-oncology.

Awarded for his project, “Molecular Markers of Outcome in Childhood Oligodendrogliomas,” Dr. Pollack’s research focuses on a category of brain tumors that he says has previously not been well studied in children.

“We’re identifying the molecular features of the tumor, which will allow doctors to better tailor a specific treatment for the patient,” Dr. Pollack said. “For example, we are looking forward to the day when physicians can predict which patients will respond to new therapies and which will benefit from more conventional treatments.”

Dr. Pollack said Children’s Hospital has continued to serve as a leader in this type of research because of the continued support of foundations like the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation. This grant totaled $150,000.

“This grant, and others we have received previously, will enable us to explore new areas of brain tumor research at Children’s and broaden our scope on eventual treatments,” Dr. Pollack said.

Dr. Pollack’s primary research interests focus on identifying and evaluating innovative strategies for classifying and treating malignant brain tumors, improving the treatment of children with brain tumors and optimizing the management of childhood craniofacial disorders. He has been listed in “Best Doctors in America” and “Who’s Who in Science and Engineering” and has been awarded several research grants from the National Institutes of Health.

“Dr. Pollack represents the epitome of the translational researcher and is one of the very few true neurosurgical physician-scientists in the nation,” said Amin Kassam, MD, associate professor and chair, Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC. “Accordingly, this allows us to remain at the forefront of neuro-oncology in the nation.”

In July, Dr. Pollack was awarded $200,000 in funding from the Brain Tumor Society, for his study titled, “Predictors of Outcome in Pediatric Low-Grade Astrocytomas.” According to Dr. Pollack, this project focuses on the most common type of pediatric brain tumors, but the goal is similar: to better characterize the molecular changes that are associated with tumor development and recurrence, so that treatments can be better targeted to those tumors at high risk for regrowth.

The Children’s Hospital Neuro-Oncology Program provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for patients with brain and spinal cord tumors, working closely with the oncology and radiation therapy programs.


Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919 or 412-692-5016,
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5502 or 412-692-5016,

Last Update
July 2, 2012
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Last Update
July 2, 2012