Contact Information


Dr. Pollock is a full professor and the Lambert F. Minucci Endowed Chair in Engineering and Computational Sciences. With degrees in physics and biophysics, he has carried out continuously funded research on the nervous system since the 1980’s, with current research focused on the biology of chronic pain, and the fundamental differences between males and females. He teaches courses in neurobiology. As founding director and executive producer of The Partnership in Education, since 2001 Dr. Pollock has created and produced several award-winning health literacy and science-based multimedia projects, including video games, apps, ebooks, multiple Emmy® Award-winning children’s television shows, YouTube videos and table-top board games. Topics include tissue engineering, neurobiology of sleep and concussion, Charles Darwin, and various topics of the immune system, among others. Current STEM education and health literacy projects are focused on destigmatizing mental health while addressing new ways to manage stress and anxiety in adolescents.


  • Ph.D., Biophysics, Syracuse University
  • M.S., Physics, Syracuse University
  • B.S., Physics, Syracuse University

Research Interests

Research interests include the fundamental biology of pain and pain-relief and the underlying mechanisms that are distinct between males and females. Relevant biological questions are explored using an immunomodulatory NSAID based nanotherapeutic developed by our colleague in Duquesne University School of Pharmacy, Dr. Jelena Janjic. Primary research techniques include animal behavior, microscopy and bioinformatic molecular cell biology. The second principle interest is focused on K-12 and the general public and raising awareness of science and health through digital and analog interactive games and media. Critical evaluation demonstrates effectiveness, with published results. Emphasis is currently focused on understanding the neurobiology and physiology of stress and anxiety as a way to also learn how to manage one's own mental health. Approaches include table-top games, YouTube videos, iOS/Android apps, ebooks, web-based resources with supporting teacher's guides and aligned curriculum.

Video abstract

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Confocal microscope images of fluorecently labeled mammalian cells taken by undergraduate biology students in Dr. Pollock's lab

Profile Information

About Dr. Pollock

Please find a compilation of selected publications, awards, course offerings, and additional information regarding Dr. John Pollock and The Partnership in Education.

  1. Pollock JA Telling the stories of neuroscientific discovery to schoolchildren and the public can make an impact. eNeuro      (STEM Education)
  2. Vichare R, Crelli C, Liu L, McCallin R, Cowan A, Stratimirovic S, Herneisey M, Pollock JA, Janjic JM (2023) Folate-conjugated near-infrared fluorescent perfluorocarbon nanoemulsions as theranostics for activated macrophage COX-2 inhibition. Scientific Reports (Nature Portfolio) 13, 15229 (2023).  (Collaborative)
  3. Hrach VL, King WR, Nelson LD, Conklin S, Pollock JA, Patton-Vogt J. The acyltransferase Gpc1 is both a target and an effector of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2023, 104884, (Collaborative)
  4. Deal B, Phillips K, Crelli C, Janjic JM, Pollock JA. RNA-Seq Reveals Sex Differences in Gene Expression during Peripheral Neuropathic Inflammation and in Pain Relief from a COX-2 Inhibiting Theranostic Nanoemulsion. Int. J. Mol.Sci. 2023, 24, 9163. (Neuroscience)
  5. Deal B, Reynolds LM, Patterson C, Janjic JM, Pollock JA. Behavioral and inflammatory sex differences revealed by celecoxib nanotherapeutic treatment of peripheral neuroinflammation. Scientific Reports (Nature Portfolio) 12, 8472 (2022). (Neuroscience)
  6. Stevens AM, Saleem M, Deal B, Janjic J, Pollock JA. Targeted cyclooxygenase-2 inhibiting nanomedicine results in pain-relief and differential expression of the RNA transcriptome in the dorsal root ganglia of injured male rats. Mol Pain. 2020;16:1744806920943309. (Neuroscience)
  7. Kantorski B, Commisso DR, Sanford-Dolly CW, Pollock JA. The use of a mobile application to teach concussion-related health knowledge. Journal of STEM Outreach. 2020;3(1). (STEM Education/Digital Media)
  8. Saleem M, Deal B, Nehl E, Janjic JM, Pollock JA. Nanomedicine-driven neuropathic pain relief in a rat model is associated with macrophage polarity and mast cell activation. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2019;7(1):108. (Neuroscience)
  9. Kantorski B, Sanford-Dolly CW, Commisso DR, Pollock JA. Backward design as a mobile application development strategy. Educational Technology Research and Development. 2019;67:711-31. (STEM Education/Digital Media)
  10. Lampe DJ, Kantorski B, Pollock JA. Charles Darwin Synthetic Interview: A 19th Century Scientist Speaks in the 21(st) Century. Journal of STEM Outreach. 2018;1(1). (STEM Education/Digital Media)
  11. Janjic JM, Vasudeva K, Saleem M, Stevens A, Liu L, Patel S, Pollock JA. Low-dose NSAIDs reduce pain via macrophage targeted nanoemulsion delivery to neuroinflammation of the sciatic nerve in rat. J Neuroimmunol. 2018;318:72-9. (Neuroscience)
  12. Vasudeva K, Andersen K, Zeyzus-Johns B, Hitchens TK, Patel SK, Balducci A, Janjic JM, Pollock JA. Imaging neuroinflammation in vivo in a neuropathic pain rat model with near-infrared fluorescence and ¹⁹F magnetic resonance. PLoS One. 2014;9(2):e90589. (Neuroscience)
  13. Ricou J, Pollock JA. The tree, the spiral and the web of life: a visual exploration of biological evolution for public murals. Leonardo. 2012;45(1):18-25. (STEM Education/Digital Media)
As Director of the Partnership in Education, Dr. Pollock leads the development of innovative multimedia learning resources that promote science and health literacy, aiming to enhance public understanding and engagement. His research evaluates the effectiveness of these resources and explores how people learn from them. Collaborating with esteemed institutions like the Carnegie Science Center, Dr. Pollock fosters scientific dialogue through various channels, including museum exhibits, educational television programming, and the acclaimed children's show "Scientastic!" His BiblioTech series, supported by adaptive reader technology, delves into topics such as sleep and sports-related concussions. Dr. Pollock's projects, funded by grants and foundations, aim to elucidate biological mechanisms underlying everyday stress and pain management for school-aged children.
  • Science Educator Award, Society for Neuroscience & Dana Foundation. Honoring neuroscientists who devotes his/her time primarily to research while making significant contributions to educating the public about neuroscience
  • 2020 International Serious Play Silver Medal in the category of US & Canada K-12 STEM Education. For the table top board game YOU MAKE ME SICK, where players fight 11 common infectious diseases including COVID19, while learning about the functions of the immune system.
  • 2018 AAAS Fellow - American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 2018 Presidential Award - National Science Foundation & White HouseAwarded for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring
  • Pictured below: Dr. John Pollock and his Presidential Awarda picture of John pollock
  • 2018 Presidential Award - Duquesne University Awarded for Faculty Excellence in Service to the Mission
  • 2018 Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences Award
    Awarded for Faculty Excellence in Service to the Mission
  • 2018 Parents' Choice Award ‘Recommended' to J. Pollock for mobile app REBOUND: BEATING CONCUSSION
  • 2017 Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences Award
    Awarded for Faculty Excellence in Scholarship
  • 2017 Apple Award for Distinguished Educator
  • TEDx Talk: TEDxYouth@SquirrelHill "STORY" (Published Nov 16, 2016)
    Dr. John Archie Pollock. "Human evolution and the unique abilities that humans have to tell stories through technology, art, literature and now through videos, apps and ebooks."
  • "Pollock to Discuss the Importance of Storytelling in Learning Science at TEDxYouth Conference" -- Published in the Duquesne University Times
  • 2016 CITYHACKS: IN SEARCH OF SLEEP (a Bibliotech eBook)
  • - WINNER OF International Serious Play Competition Bronze Honors 2016
    - Parents' Choice Award ‘Recommended'
  • 2016 Parents' Choice Award ‘Recommended' to J. Pollock for mobile app DARWIN SYNTHETIC INTERVIEW
  • 2015 Emmy® Award for Children/Youth/Teen - Program or Special to Scientastic! "ARE YOU SLEEPING?" John Pollock, Executive Producer from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Mid-Atlantic Chapter)
  • 2015 Emmy® Award for Musical Composition/Arrangement to Scientastic! "ARE YOU SLEEPING?" John Pollock, Executive Producer from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Mid-Atlantic Chapter)
  • Pictured below: Dr. John Pollock and his two Emmy Awards
a picture of john pollock receiving an award
  • BIOL 475/575 Neurobiology
  • BIOL 376/576 Capstone VI: Microscopy