Dr. John Pollock is the Full Professor of Biological Science at Duquesne University. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Entertainment Technology Center, which is jointly managed by the College of Fine Arts and School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.
Dr. Pollock graduated from Syracuse University with a BS in Physics with a second major in Philosophy, continuing his studies to earn a MS Physics and his PhD in Biophysics also at Syracuse University. He did his post-doctoral training at the California Institute of Technology, where he studied the molecular neurogenetics of the developing eye and brain.
Dr. Pollock’s current research involves identifying genes involved in neural development, perception, and pain sensation. To do this he studies genetics, behavior, expression profiling, molecular cell biology, and uses advanced microscopy. He is also collaborating with Prof. Jelena Janjic using dual labeled nanoparticles, which permit the tagging of circulating monocytes and macrophages. These labeled cells aggregate at the site of neuroinflammation and can be combined with behavioral and molecular approaches to place these observations in the context of the molecular cascade that facilitates changes associated with the transition from acute to chronic pain. In this capacity, Dr. Pollock also serves as the Co-Director of the Duquesne University Chronic Pain Research Consortium.
In addition to his research, Dr. Pollock has taken a leadership role as Director of the Partnership in Education and has directed several related informal science education projects that produce artistically rich, science education films for young people and the general public. One project concerns Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday and involved a multi-year and city-wide partnership with Duquesne University, Carnegie Science Center, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Garden, National Aviary, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. The Darwin Synthetic Interview is now available as an award-winning app for iOS and Android devices. Other current projects are producing health literacy apps for patients. Most recently Dr. Pollock has produced Scientastic!, a television show that won two Emmy® Awards and is now available on Amazon, iTunes and GooglePlay. Dr. Pollock has also produced the iOS apps Powers of Minus Ten – Bone, CITYHACKS: In Search of Sleep (recipient of multiple awards) and REBOUND: Beating Concussion.
Dr. Pollock received the 2008 Darwin Evolution/Revolution Award, National Institutes of Health. The awarding of the Carnegie Science Award, Special Achievement in Education 2011, has recognized his work in science and health literacy education including studies on how people learn through his projects directed toward children and the general public. The Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences has honored him with the Award for Excellence in Teaching 2013, and he was recipient of the 2013 Duquesne University Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest award for teaching at Duquesne University. In 2017, Dr. Pollock received the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences Award for Excellence in Scholarship. Dr. Pollock was also named an Apple Distinguished Educator, by the Apple Corporation. In addition, Dr. Pollock is very active in community service and among other activities is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and has volunteered as a reading tutor since 2003.
Some of Dr. Pollock’s selected publications include:
Kolber, Janjic, Pollock, Tidgewell (2016). The Pain Undergraduate Research Experience: Interacting with community partners to build a specialized and enhanced biomedical research program. BMC Medical Education 2016 May 4;16(1):135. doi: 10.1186/s12909-016-0648-7 PMID: 27142616
Vasudeva, Vodovotz, Azhar, Barclay, Janjic, Pollock (2015) In Vivo and Systems Biology Studies Implicate IL-18 as a Central Mediator in Chronic Pain. Journal of Neuroimmunology, doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2015.04.012.
Vasudeva, Andersen, Zeyzus-Johns, Patel, Hitchens, Janjic, Pollock (2014) Neuroinflammation In Vivo in a Neuropathic Pain Rat Model with Near-Infrared Fluorescence and 19F Magnetic Resonance. PLoS ONE 9(2): e90589.
Wilson, Gonzalez, Pollock (2012) Evaluating learning and attitudes on tissue engineering: A study of children viewing animated digital dome shows detailing the biomedicine of tissue engineering. Tissue Engineering (Part A), vol. 18, no. 5 576-586. PMID: 21943030.
Ricou, Pollock (2012) The Tree, The Spiral And The Web of Life: A Visual Exploration. Leonardo JournalVolume 45, No. 1, 18-25. ‘Featured Article’.
Lawrence, Stilley, Pollock, Webber, Quivers. (2011). Promoting Independence and Adherence in Pediatric Heart Transplantation. Progress in Transplantation, vol. 21, 61-66, March 2011.
B. Gillo, I. Chorna, H. Cohen, B. Cook, I. Manistersky, 0. Devary, A. Arnon, A. Baumann, U. B. Kaupp, J. A. Pollock, Z. Selinger and B. Minke. (1996). Co-expression of Drosophila TRP and TRPL in Xenopus oocytes reconstitutes a capacitative Ca2+ entry similar to the light-activated conductance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 93, 14146-14151.
J. A. Pollock, A. Asaf, A. Peretz, C. Nichols, M. H. Mojet, R. C. Hardie and B. Minke. (1995). TRP, a protein essential for inositide-mediated Ca2+ influx is localized adjacent to the calcium stores in Drosophila photoreceptors. Journal of Neuroscience 15(5), 3747 – 3760.
R. C. Hardie, A. Peretz, J. A. Pollock and B. Minke. (1993). Ca2+ Limits the Development of the Light Response in Drosophila Photoreceptors. Proceedings of the Royal Society London B.252, 223-229.