August 2019Milestones

Dr. Michael Pollak named to Royal Society of Canada

Dr. Michael Pollak, Director of the Stroll Cancer Prevention Centre at the JGH, has been named to the Royal Society of Canada, an Ottawa-based organization of distinguished individuals who have made remarkable contributions to the arts, humanities and sciences.

“I’m very gratified by this appointment, because it represents a vote by my peers,” says Dr. Pollak, who is also Director of the Division of Cancer Prevention in McGill University’s Department of Oncology.

“This is recognition by other scientific leaders that I’ve made a contribution that they consider significant,” he adds. “I feel this really represents recognition for our entire team, to whom I am very grateful. Consideration was given to the work of our team in clinical and laboratory-based research and in patient care.”

Dr. Pollak is internationally recognized for his research in cancer endocrinology and for having documented previously unrecognized hormonal influences on carcinogenesis and cancer behaviour. These discoveries have had significant implications for the prevention and treatment of the disease.

The impact of Dr. Pollak’s work is reflected in the broad support that his nomination to the Royal Society received from colleagues in institutions in New York, Boston, Cambridge (England) and Nice (France), as well as the Lady Davis Institute at the JGH, and McGill.

Dr. Pollak has received particular recognition for a study—conducted with colleagues at Harvard University and published in the journal Science in 1998—showing that peptide hormones and steroid hormones can significantly influence tumour behaviour.

Consequently, his laboratory has become a resource for cancer researchers from many countries who require expertise in measuring hormones. This aspect of his work has resulted in the publication of more than 165 papers.

Over the years, Dr. Pollak’s research has yielded more than 460 publications that have been cited more than 27,000 times. He has also received more than $25 million in peer‑reviewed funding since 1989.

Dr. Pollak is an active teacher, who has participated in training 36 medical oncologists and research scientists from around the world, including Japan, Italy, Israel, France, England and China, as well as Canada and the United States.

He serves as editor-in-chief of the journal Cancer Prevention Research, and has received numerous honours, including the Alexander Goldfarb Research Chair in Oncology from McGill; the Aisenstadt Award for Academic Achievement from the JGH; and the Harold Warwick Award from the Canadian Cancer Society, a prestigious honour that recognizes clinically relevant cancer research.

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