Dr. Michael N. Pollak is a clinical oncologist at the Jewish General Hospital, and directs a multi-disciplinary research program related to cancer endocrinology at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research. He is an internationally recognized scientist in this field. Clinically, Dr. Pollak specializes in the treatment of hormone-related cancers, and has been the principal investigator on several pivotal clinical trials of new drugs. Dr. Pollak’s laboratory research has focused on the roles of insulin and insulin-like growth factors in cancer biology. His laboratory uses a variety of in vitro and in vivo methods to explore the influences of hormones on cancer behaviour and on cancer risk.
Dr. Pollak has extensive international collaborations in his area of research, and is frequently invited to collaborate in drug development projects led by pharmaceutical industry participants. He reviews papers for leading journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, and Nature, and also participates in peer review of research applications submitted to the NIH and other leading funding organizations. He has more than 30,000 citations of scientific contributions, and more than 460 publications, with an H-index of 96.
One section of his laboratory is devoted to performing specialized hormone assays, and acts as a reference laboratory for leading collaborating epidemiologists worldwide. This laboratory receives blood samples from scientists around the world for analysis.
Dr. Pollak has been recognized by McGill for his contributions to the University's favourable international standing. His 1998 publication in Science is one of the most widely cited Canadian contributions to the cancer research literature. Dr. Pollak has received continuous peer-reviewed funding from Canadian and international sources for more than 20 years. He received one of Quebec’s top scientific honors, the Chercheur national award from the FRSQ.
Major Research Activities
Dr. Pollak’s research program is multi-disciplinary. It includes clinical trials, laboratory research emphasizing both cellular and in vivo experimental systems, and epidemiologic research carried out in collaboration with colleagues internationally. His laboratory is frequently called upon to act as a reference for the measurement of hormones suspected of being related to cancer biology.
Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci E, Gann PH, Ma J, Wilkinson P, Hennekens CH, Pollak M. Plasma insulin-like growth factor-I and prostate cancer risk: a prospective study. Science 279(5350):563-6, 1998. [see also favorable editorial comment – Science 279: 475, 1998]. Impact Factor: 34.661. Times cited (as of 2019): 1,464. PMID: 9438850.
Zakikhani M, Dowling R, Fantus GI, Sonenberg N, Pollak M. Metformin is an AMP-kinase dependent growth inhibitor for breast cancer cells. Cancer Res 66(21):10269-73, 2006. Impact Factor: 8.556. Times cited (as of 2019): 535. PMID: 17062558.
Kordes S, Pollak MN, Zwinderman AH, Mathôt RA, Weterman MJ, Beeker A, Punt CJ, Richel DJ, Wilmink JW. Metformin in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol 16(7):839-47, 2015. Impact Factor: 24.690. Times cited (as of 2019): 101. PMID: 26067687.
Hulea L, Gravel SP, Morita M, Cargnello M, Uchenunu O, Im YK, Lehuédé C, Ma EH, Leibovitch M, McLaughlan S, Blouin MJ, Parisotto M, Papavasiliou V, Lavoie C, Larsson O, Ohh M, Ferreira T, Greenwood C, Bridon G, Avizonis D, Ferbeyre G, Siegel P, Jones RG, Muller W, Ursini-Siegel J, St-Pierre J, Pollak M, Topisirovic I. Translational and HIF-1α-Dependent Metabolic Reprogramming Underpin Metabolic Plasticity and Responses to Kinase Inhibitors and Biguanides. Cell Metab 28(6):817-832, 2018. PMID: 30244971.
Pollak M. Diet boosts the effectiveness of a cancer drug. Nature 60(7719): 439-440, 2018. Impact Factor: 40.137. PMID: 30127476.