John Pollack, MD

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“My passion is for providing patients with cutting edge retina care in a personalized and compassionate manner. Nothing is more rewarding than preserving the gift of sight. My goal is for patients to leave my office with a sense of hope and optimism, as well as a clear understanding of their retina disorder and its treatment options.”


Dr. Pollack is as an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and is board-certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He has been with Illinois Retina Associates since 1997.

A native of Baltimore, Dr. Pollack developed an interest and passion for ophthalmology early on, inspired by his father, who is also an ophthalmologist. He received his undergraduate degree in biology at Washington University in St. Louis and completed his medical training at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Dr. Pollack returned to St. Louis for his ophthalmology residency at Washington University’s Barnes Hospital, followed by a retina-vitreous fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

Dr. Pollack is an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of retinal disease and is a sought-after speaker at national and international retina conferences. He has served as Director or invited faculty at over 100 scientific meetings. He has delivered over 145 scientific presentations at national and international scientific meetings.

Dr. Pollack has held a number of national leadership positions and received many honors. He is a member of the Executive Committee of American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) – the largest organization of retina specialists in the world. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the philanthropic arm of the ASRS – the “Foundation of the ASRS”. Dr. Pollack is on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness and is a past Board Member of the Chicago Ophthalmological Society. Dr. Pollack received the ASRS Sr. Honor Award for his scientific and educational contributions and he is the recipient of the Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He has been listed in “Best Doctors in America” and “Guide to America’s Top Ophthalmologists” for many years. Dr. Pollack is co-founder and founding Editor of the annual ASRS Preferences and Trends Survey, an international survey of medical and surgical trends in retina.

Dr. Pollack’s strong interest in bringing cutting edge research to his patients has led to his involvement in multiple major national research studies. He has served as Study Chairman, Principle Investigator, or Co-Investigator in over 15 clinical studies including LADDER, NT503-3, DRCR, READ-2, READ-3, CATT, SCORE, CRAVE and ISIS. He has published over 45 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and is a scientific reviewer for 5 ophthalmology journals. His interests cover a variety of topics including suture-less surgery techniques, new treatments for macular degeneration, new surgical options for macular holes, injection therapy for macular edema, macular OCT, repair of complex retinal detachment, and new advances in the development of artificial vision.

In their spare time, Dr. Pollack, his wife Susan, and their three children share and enthusiasm for camping, fishing, skiing, and travel.

Clinical Trials/Research Studies

  • Principal Investigator, I-Vation Study, Extended Release Intravitreal Injection of Triamcinolone Acetonide (IVTA)
  • Principal Investigator, Ranibizumab for Edema of the mAcula in Diabetes(READ-2) Study
  • Principal Investigator, Standard Care vs. Corticosteroid for Retinal Vein Occlusion (SCORE) Study
  • Principal Investigator, Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research (DRCR) Study, IVTA and laser therapy
  • Co-investigator, Comparison of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatments Trial (CATT)

Leadership Positions

  • Executive Committee, American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS)
  • Executive Committee, Foundation of the ASRS
  • Board of Directors, Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness
  • Board of Directors, Chicago Ophthalmological Society
  • Co-founder and first Editor, Annual ASRS Preferences and Trends (PAT) Survey


  • Senior Honor Award, ASRS
  • Achievement Award, AAO
  • Best Doctors in America
  • Guide to America’s Top Ophthalmologists

Scientific Journals

  • Archives of Ophthalmology
  • Ophthalmology
  • American Journal of Ophthalmology
  • Retina
  • British Journal of Ophthalmology

Societies and Organizations

  • American Society of Retina Specialists, Board of Directors
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology, Fellow
  • American Medical Association
  • The Retina Society
  • Chicago Ophthalmological Society
  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology


Vitreoretinal Surgery – Medical College of Wisconsin


Ophthalmology – Washington University


Internal Medicine – Jewish Hospital

Medical School

M.D. – Georgetown University


B.A. – Washington University

Professional Affiliations

  • American Medical Association
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Society of Retina Specialists