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Children's Hospital neurosurgeon receives grant

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

Awarded for his project, Molecular Makers of Outcome in Childhood Oligodendrogliomas, Dr. Pollacks research focuses on a category of brain tumors that he says has previously not been well studied in children.

Were 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 Childrens Hospital has continued to serve as a leader in this type of research because of the continued support of foundations like the Childrens 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 Childrens and broaden our scope on eventual treatments, Dr. Pollack said.

Dr. Pollacks 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 Whos 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.


Contact: Marc Lukasiak
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

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