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412-692-5921 Fax

Ian F. Pollack, MD

Ian Pollack, MD
Job Title Chief, Pediatric Neurosurgery
Job Title Co-director, Brain Tumor Center, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
Job Title Professor of Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Job Title Walter Dandy Professorship in Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
4401 Penn Avenue, Suite Floor 2
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
412-692-5090 Phone
412-692-5921 Fax

Education and Training

Medical School:

1984 Johns Hopkins UniversitySchool of Medicine, Baltimore, MD


1991 University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA


1990 University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA
1992 Van Wagenen Traveling Fellowship:
Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
University of Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden


  • Allegheny County Medical Society
  • Alpha Omega Alpha
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Association for Neurological Surgeons
  • American Association for Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons Joint Section on Tumors
  • American Medical Association
  • American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons
  • Children's Oncology Group
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  • International Brain Research Organization
  • Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Society
  • New York Academy of Science
  • Pennsylvania Medical Society
  • Pennsylvania Neurosurgical Society
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Pi Alpha (Chemistry Honor Society)
  • Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Active Member
  • Pittsburgh Neuroscience Society
  • Society for Neuro-Oncology
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Society of Surgical Oncology

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Neurological Surgery
  • American Board of Pediatric Neurosurgery
  • American College of Surgeons, Fellow


  • First place, Georgia Science Fair, "The Limits of Discriminative Sensation in the Human Hand"
  • First place, Georgia Science Fair, "The Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation and Photoreactivation on Ultraviolet Sensitivity in Serratia marcescens"
  • Westinghouse Science Talent Search, Honors Group
  • Alternate Position, International Science Fair
  • National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, Georgia Delegate
  • National Youth Science Camp, Georgia Delegate
  • National Merit Scholarship
  • Shell Oil Chemistry Scholarship
  • Kodak Chemistry Scholarship, Finalist
  • Stipe Society Scholarship
  • Phi Gamma Delta Education and Leadership Scholarship
  • Department Honors, Chemistry, "The Isolation and Characterization of Myelin Basic Protein from Rana pipiens"
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Alpha Omega Alpha
  • 1988-1989 Competitive Medical Research Fund Grant
  • Preuss Award, AANS/CNS Joint Section on Tumors
  • Pittsburgh Neuroscience Society Resident Research Award
  • Resident Research Award, American College of Surgeons, Southwestern Pennsylvania
  • Van Wagenen Fellowship Award of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)
  • Who's Who in Science and Engineering
  • 1991, 2002 Who's Who in Health Care and Medicine
  • Young Clinician Investigator Award of the AANS
  • Listed in "The Best Doctors in America: Northeast Region"
  • Fellowship, American College of Surgeons
  • Listed in "The Best Doctors in America"
  • National Registry of "Who's Who"
  • America's Top Doctors
  • 2002-2003 Castle Connolly's America's Top Doctors
  • Wichmann Foundation Brain Tumor Research Award
  • Center for Study of Services Top Doctors
  • Steven J. Bryant Brain Tumor Research Award
  • Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Clinical Investigator Award
  • International Health Professional of the Year, IBC, Cambridge, UK
  • 2004-2005 America's Top Doctors, Castle Connolly
  • Who's Who in America, Marquis
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation
  • America's Top Cancer Doctors, Castle Connolly


  • Pollack IF. Current Concepts: Brain tumors in children, N Engl J Med 331: 1500-1507, 1994.
  • Pollack IF, Finkelstein SD, Woods J, Burnham J, Holmes EJ, Hamilton RL, Yates AJ, Boyett JM, Finlay JL, Sposto R. Expression of p53 and prognosis in malignant gliomas in children. N Engl J Med 346: 420-427, 2002.
  • Pollack IF, Jakacki RI, Blaney SM, Hancock ML, Kieran MW, Phillips P, Kun LE, Friedman H, Packer R, Banerjee A, Geyer JR, Goldman S, Young-Poussaint T, Krasin MJ, Wang Y, Hayes M, Murgo A, Weiner S, Boyett JM. Phase I trial of imatinib in children with newly diagnosed brainstem and recurrent malignant gliomas: A Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium report. Neuro-Oncology 9: 145-160, 2007

Research Interests

  • The Role of Growth Factor and Second Messenger Pathways in the Proliferation of Astrocytic Tumors
  • Molecular Markers of Glioma Behavior and Therapeutic Responsiveness
  • The Efficacy of Signal Transduction Inhibition as a Therapeutic Strategy for Patients with Recurrent Malignant Gliomas
  • Clinical Studies in Children with Brain Tumors
  • Prognostic Factors for Children with Brain Tumors
  • The Refinement of Surgical Techniques in Craniofacial Surgery

Biography Summary

Ian Pollack, MD, is co-director of the Brain Tumor Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, and Walter Dandy Professor of Neurosurgery 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.

Dr. Pollack graduated magna cum laude from Emory University in 1980, where he earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry. He received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1984, then completed a surgical internship and neurosurgical residency at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He also was a research fellow in neuropathology and neurobiology during some of that time. Pollack has published more than 250 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 and an accompanying atlas Operative Techniques In Pediatric Neurosurgery. He is currently a principal investigator on numerous NIH grants focusing on novel therapies for brain tumors and evaluating molecular markers of tumor prognosis. Dr. Pollack was named vice chairman of academic affairs for the department in July of 2008. He has co-chaired the National Cancer Institute Brain Malignancy Steering Committee since 2010.

Active Research Projects / Grants

  • Molecular Markers as Predictors of Outcome in Gliomas
  • Novel Treatment Strategies for Central Nervous System Tumors
  • Novel Treatment Approaches for Pediatric Brain Tumors - Pediatric Brain Tumor Clinical Trials Consortium
  • Children's Cancer Group Brain Tumor Resource Laboratory
  • Children's Cancer Group Brain Tumor Strategy Group Chair Grant
  • Molecular Markers of Prognosis for Pediatric Astrocytomas
  • NABTC member institution grant
  • Cancer Center Support Grant (Herberman, Center Director)
Last Update
August 6, 2014
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Last Update
August 6, 2014