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John A. Pollock, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences

222A Mellon Hall
Phone: 412.855.4043

Education:

Ph.D., Biophysics, Syracuse University, 1984
M.S., Physics, Syracuse University, 1983
B.S., Physics, Syracuse University, 1978
Honors/Awards

2013 Duquesne University President's Award for Excellence in Teaching
Awarded in recognition of extraordinary service rendered

2013 Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences Award
Awarded for Faculty Excellence in Teaching

Carnegie Science Award 2011
Special Recognition in Science Education

2010 Duquesne University Research Hall of Fame

 

Research

Molecular Neurobiology

My research is focused on the basic biology of the nervous system. 

On project looks at the development of nerve cells in the fruit fly eye. We have found that the RUNX1 transcription factor, LOZENGE, initially influence cells with undetermined fates to choose survival over death. We have also found that LOZENGE proteins contribute to how a cell chooses a specific fate. We are investigating what genes regulate lozenge and in turn, what LOZENGE protein specifically regulates during axon growth and guidance. Our research uses a combination of confocal microscopy techniques as well as quantitative reverse transcription PCR analysis of mRNA expression among other approaches.

New research directions include the analysis of TRP (calcium channel) in the context of a rat chronic pain model. The extensive family of TRP related proteins are intimately involved in pain physiology. As Co-Director of the newly formed Chronic Pain Research Consortium (http://www.duq.edu/pain), I am collaborating with Dr. Jelena Janjc (Mylan School of Pharmacy).  We are using small animal imaging to co-localize the immune system response to chronic pain and changes in TRP expression.

Partnerships in Education

As Director of the Partnership in Education I strive to create a strong and accessible scientific dialogue between the research community and the general public and classroom.  To achieve this, I create informal science education pieces for use in museums including planetariums shows, exhibits, interactive media and supporting teacher resource materials (www.sepa.duq.edu). Research evaluates how effective the new learning tools are as well as how people learn. Topics have included tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and the fundamental principles of evolution (www.sepa.duq.edu/darwin). Collaborative partners have included the Carnegie Science Center, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, The National Aviary, The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Public School, and American Philosophical Society Museum-Philadelphia.

I have also created a children's television show called Scientastic! (www.ScientasticTV.com). Scientastic has been broadcast on WQED (Pittsburgh's PBS affiliate). Additional episodes for the series are in production.

Project funding has come from Science Education Partnership Awards from the National Center for Research Resources (NIH), and from the US Department of Education, The Pittsburgh Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation and UPMC Health Plan.

Publications

Recent Publications

Vasudeva K, Andersen K, Zeyzus-Johns B, Hitchens TK, Patel SK, Balducci A, Janjic JM, Pollock JA (2014) Imaging Neuroinflammation In Vivo in a Neuropathic Pain Rat Model with Near-Infrared Fluorescence and 19F Magnetic Resonance. PLoS ONE 9(2): e90589. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090589

S. K. Patel, M. J. Patrick, J. A. Pollock, J. M. Janjic (2013) Two-color fluorescent (near-infrared and visible) triphasic perfluorocarbon nanoemuslions. J. Biomed. Opt. 18 (10), 101312 (August 02, 2013); doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.18.10.101312

Jelena M. Janjic, Sravan K. Patel, Michael J. Patrick, John A. Pollock, Erin DiVito, Michael Cascio. Proceedings Article | February 21, 2013:
Suppressing inflammation from inside out with novel NIR visible perfluorocarbon nanotheranostics. Proc. SPIE. 8596, Reporters, Markers, Dyes, Nanoparticles, and Molecular Probes for Biomedical Applications V 85960L (February 21, 2013) doi: 10.1117/12.2004625

Patel SK, Zhang Y, Pollock JA, Janjic JM (2013) Cyclooxgenase-2 Inhibiting Perfluoropoly (Ethylene Glycol) Ether Theranostic Nanoemulsions–In Vitro Study. PLoS ONE 8(2): e55802. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055802

A. Wilson, L. Gonzalez, J. A. 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

J. Ricou, J. A. Pollock (2012) The Tree, The Spiral And The Web of Life: A Visual Exploration. Leonardo Journal, Volume 45, No. 1, 18-25. Download from Leonardo Journal

J. Ricou, D. Commisso, L. Gonzalez, J. A. Pollock (2011) The Evolution Of Evolution: The Tree, The Spiral And The Web of Life, International Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education (IJCDSE), Volume 2, Issue 4, 554 - 557. Download

K. Lawrence, C. Stilley, J.A. Pollock, D. Webber, E. Quivers (2011) A family-centered educational program to promote independence in pediatric heart transplant recipients. Progress in Transplantation, Vol 21. March 2011. Download

N.A. Siddall, G.R. Hime, J.A. Pollock, P. Batterham (2009) Ttk69-dependent regulation of lozenge expression is necessary for correct R7 differentiation in the developing eye of Drosophila melanogaster. Biomed Central: Developmental Biology Dec 9; 9:64.

J.P. McKay, B. Nightingale and J.A. Pollock (2008) Helmsman is expressed in both trachea and Photoreceptor development; partial inactivation alters trachea morphology and visually guided behavior. Journal of Neurogenetics, Apr-Jun;22(2):1. Download

S. Sethi, W. Adams, J.A. Pollock and P.A. Witt-Enderby (2008) C-terminal domains within human MT(1) and MT(2) melatonin receptors are involved in internalization processes. J Pineal Res. 2008 Mar 13. Download

K. Behan, J. Fair, S. Singh, M. Bogwitz, T. Perry, V. Grubor, F. Cunningham, C. Nichols, T. Cheung, P. Batterham and J.A. Pollock (2005) Alternative splicing removes an Ets interaction domain from Lozenge during Drosophila eye development. Dev Genes Evol. 215:423-435.Download

N. Siddall, K.J. Behan, N., J.R. Crew, T.L. Cheung, J.A. Fair, P. Batterham, and J.A. Pollock (2003) Mutations in lozenge and D-Pax2 invoke ectopic patterned cell death in the developing Drosophila eye using distinct mechanisms. Dev Genes Evol 213:107-119. Download

K.J. Behan, C.D. Nichols, T. L. Cheung, A. Farlow, B. M. Hogan P. Batterham and JA Pollock (2002) Yan regulates Lozenge during Drosophila eye development. Dev Genes Evol, 212:267-276. Download

Selected Publications Before 1999

J.R. Crew, P. Batterham, and J.A. Pollock (1997) Developing compound eye in lozenge mutants of Drosophila: lozenge expression in the R7 equivalence group. Development Genes and Evolution 206, 481-493. Download

B. Gillo, I. Chorna, H. Cohen, B. Cook, I. Manistersky, O. 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 Ca 2+ entry similar to the light-activated conductance. PNAS USA 93, 14146-14151. Download

M. E. Martone, J. A. Pollock, Y. Yhang, Y. and M. H. Ellisman (1996) Ultrastructural localization of dendritic messenger RNA in adult rat hippocampus. J. Neuroscience 16: 7437-7446.Download

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. J. Neurosci. 15, 3747 3760. Download

R. C. Hardie, A. Peretz, J. A. Pollock, B. Minke (1993) Ca2+ Limits the Development of the Light Response in Drosophila Photoreceptors. Proceedings of the Royal Society London B.252, 223-229.

B. Rudy, C. Kentros, M. Weiser, D. Fruhling, P. Serodio, E. Vega-Saenz de Miera, M. H. Ellisman, J. A. Pollock, H. Baker (1992) Region-Specific Expression of a K+ channel gene in Brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 89, 4603 - 4607.

D. R. Hyde, K. L. Mecklenburg, J. A. Pollock, T. Vihtelic, Seymour Benzer (1990) Twenty Drosophila Visual System cDNA Clones: One Is A Homologue Of Human Arrestin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 87, 1008-1012.

J.A. Pollock and Seymour Benzer (1988) Transcript Localization of Four Opsin Genes In the Three Visual Organs in Drosophila; RH2 is Ocellus Specific. Nature 333, 779-782.

U. Banerjee, P. J. Renfranz, J. A. Pollock, Seymour Benzer (1987) Molecular Characterization and Expression of sevenless, a Gene Involved in Neural Pattern Formation in the Drosophila Eye. Cell 49, 281-291.

Bio

Dr. John Archie Pollock is currently an Associate Professor of biology at Duquesne University, Dr. Pollock holds appointments as Visiting Professor with the Entertainment Technology Center, jointly managed by Carnegie Mellon University's College of Fine Arts and School of Computer Science. Dr. Pollock is also an Affiliated Faculty with the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh and UPMC. Dr. Pollock has also served as Principal Scientist for the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative, Inc. and a Research Fellow with the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Pollock is an educator who teaches courses in his expertise including neuroscience, microscopy, molecular and cellular biology. His outreach teaching has included working with informal science education in museums and television. Currently, he also participates in weekly activities with young learners (4 -7 year olds) and 5th - 7th grades.

As a scientist, Dr. Pollock has spent over 20 years as a principal investigator directing a continuously funded research program in basic science investigating the development of the nervous system. He is also studying chronic pain and the changes in gene expression that are associated with it. He received his Bachelor of Science in physics and also completed a major in philosophy at Syracuse University. He then earned a Master of Science in physics, as well as his Doctor of Philosophy in biophysics, also from Syracuse University. In order to study in the laboratory of Prof. Seymour Benzer, a pioneer in neuro-genetic and behavioral research, Dr. Pollock moved to Caltech in Pasadena, California.

Dr. Pollock is co-director and partnering principal investigator for the newly established Chronic Pain Research Consortium at Duquesne University (www.duq.edu/pain).This research collaborative is engaging 19 faculty distributed between the Bayer College of Science, the Mylan School of Pharmacy, School of Nursing and the Rangos School of Health Sciences to focus on the study of chronic pain in relationship to regenerative medicine. In addition to conducting research and teaching, Dr. Pollock has served as founding director for the Partnership in Education, which has conducted five related multimedia based informal science education projects that produce artistically rich science education resources including videos, TV shows, Apps, videogames and teaching resources for young people and the general public. The Partnership in Education has been supported with two Science Education Partnership Awards from the National Center for Research Resources (NIH) for over ten years. Additional support for science education has come from the US Department of Education, The Pittsburgh Foundation, UPMC Health Plan, and The John Templeton Foundation, among others.

Honors and awards include: Samuel and Emma Winters Foundation Research Award, James A. Shannon Director's Award from the National Institutes of Health, Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Research Award from the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, Visiting Scholar Award from the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Australia, a Grass Foundation Traveling Lecturer for the Society for Neuroscience. Duquesne University recently recognized Dr. Pollock for the significant and consistent funding that he has generated and awarded him induction into the Office of Research Hall of Fame. Also, in recognition for work in science education, Dr. Pollock was awarded the Carnegie Science Award, Special Achievement in Education 2011.

In 2013, Dr Pollock was recipient of the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching, in recognition of outstanding instruction provided. Later that same year, Dr. Pollock was honored with Duquesne University President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, in recognition of outstanding instruction provided.

Courses

BIOL 475/575            Neurobiology

BIOL 376/576            Super Lab VI: Microscopy