John Pollack, MD

“My passion is providing patients with the very highest quality, cutting edge retina care in a personalized and compassionate manner. My mission is to provide every patient with a clear understanding of their retinal disorder, as well as how current and evolving treatment options can be customized to their particular retina problem and personal needs. My goal is for patients to leave my office with an appropriate level of hope and optimism that ‘help is on the way’. I feel very fortunate to be in a position to help improve the quality of life for so many people.”


Dr. Pollack is an internationally recognized retinal clinician, surgeon and educator. He has served as Director or Invited Faculty at over 100 scientific meetings and has delivered over 160 scientific presentations at national and international scientific meetings. He has published over 60 scientific papers and book chapters and is a scientific reviewer for 6 ophthalmology journals. Dr. Pollack is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Rush University Medical Center and has been with Illinois Retina Associates since 1997.

Dr. Pollack has held a number of national leadership positions and received many honors. He is currently President of the 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 serves on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness. Dr. Pollack received the ASRS Senior 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 and has been identified by Ocular Surgery News as one of “OSN Retina 150 Innovators in Medical and Surgical Retina”. In 2017, Dr. Pollack was honored as a Charter Inductee into the Retina Hall of Fame, in recognition of exceptional lifetime achievements and contributions to the field of retina.

Dr. Pollack is founding Editor of the annual ASRS Preferences and Trends (PAT) Survey. Founded in 1999, the PAT Survey is the largest international survey of medical and surgical trends in retina and is referenced widely in scientific presentations and publications across the globe. He is also co-founder of The Winning Pitch Challenge, a medical competition that encourages and supports the development of innovation in ophthalmology.

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. His interests cover a variety of topics including suture-less retina surgery techniques, new treatments for macular degeneration, new surgical options for macular holes, injection therapy for macular edema, repair of complex retinal detachment and new advances in the development of artificial vision as well as sustained release drug treatments for macular degeneration. Dr. Pollack is an advisor to pharma, biotech and device companies and a member of the Board of Directors for multiple non-profit and commercial medical entities.

A native of Baltimore, Dr. Pollack developed an interest and passion for ophthalmology early on, inspired by his father, who was 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 Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and is board-certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.

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

Dr John Pollack’s Patient Testimonial

Leadership Positions

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

Awards

  • Senior Honor Award, ASRS
  • Achievement Award, AAO
  • Listing in Best Doctors in America
  • Listing in Guide to America’s Top Ophthalmologists
  • Ocular Surgery News Retina 150 Innovators in Medical and Surgical Retina
  • Retina Hall of Fame, Charter Inductee

Clinical Trials/Research Studies

  • Principal Investigator, LADDER Study, Sustained-release drug implant study evaluating treatment of macular degeneration with fewer injections
  • Principal Investigator, Neurotech – Phase II randomized, active Controlled, masked study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of intravitreal implantation of NT-503-3 encapsulated cell technology compared with Eylea for the treatment of recurrent subfoveal CNV secondary to AMD
  • Study Chariman & Principal Investigator, Intravitreal Steroid Injections studies (ISIS) – multicenter national clinical trial
  • Principle Investigator, Artificial Silicon Retina Project (Optobionics Corporation) – Evaluation of subrtinal implantation Artificial Silicon Retina for treatment of retinitis pigmentosa.
  • Co-investigator, VIP study (QLT/Novartis)
  • Principle Investigator, TTT4CNV Study (Iris Medical) – multicenter national clinical trial
  • Principle Investigator, VISTA Study – Combined Visudyne PDT + Intravitreal triamcinalone acetonide injection for wet AMD.
  • Co-Investigator, OTHERA Study: Topical antioxidant treatment for prevention of cataract progression following vitrectomy surgery
  • Principle Investigator, MacuSight Trial: Studying effectiveness of subconjunctival injection of Sirolimus for treatment of diabetic marcular edema. Funding: MacuSight Inc.
  • Principle Investigator, DRCR Network Study “B”: Intravitreal Steroid Injections for Diabetic Macular Edema – NEI-sponsored multicenter national trial randomizing patient to either laser or one of 3 doses of intravitreal steroid injections
  • Principle Investigator, DRCR Netowrk Study: A Phase 2 Evaluation of Anti-VEGF Therapy for Diabetic Macular Edema: Bevacizumab (Avastin)
  • Principle Investigator, READ-2 Study – Intravitreal Lucentis versus laser treatment for Diabetic Macular Edema.
  • Principle Investigator, SCORE Study – INtravitreal steroid injections for macular edema associated with vascular occlusions.
  • Co-Investigator, DRCR Study “I” – Combined IVTA + Laser for treatment of DME.
  • Co-Investigator CATT trial – NEI-sponsored trial comparing Lucentis versus Avastin for treatment of Wet AMD
  • Principle Investigator, CRAVE Study: Comparison of anti-VEGF agents in the treatment of macular edema secondary to retinal vein occlusions.

Scientific Journals

  • Archives of Ophthalmology
  • Ophthalmology
  • American Journal of Ophthalmology
  • Retina
  • British Journal of Ophthalmology
  • Case Reports in 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

Fellowship

  • Vitreoretinal Surgery – Medical College of Wisconsin

Residency

  • Ophthalmology – Washington University

Internship

  • Internal Medicine – Jewish Hospital

Medical School

  • M.D. – Georgetown University

College

  • B.A. – Washington University