About the Award
The annual Distinguished Alumnus Award & Lecture is sponsored by the MD Anderson Alumni Association and was established in 1980 to recognize a prominent alumnus who has made distinguished contributions to his or her respective field. The recipient of this award is selected from nominations received by the Alumni Association. Candidates must have trained at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Raphael E. Pollock, M.D., Ph.D.
MD Anderson Distinguished Alumnus for 2022
Raphael E. Pollock, M.D., Ph.D., was born in Chicago, IL, in 1950; he is a graduate of Oberlin College in Oberlin, OH, where he majored in history. This was followed by medical school at St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO, and residency training in general surgery at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics in Chicago. He then completed his fellowship training in surgical oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. At the end of his fellowship training in 1984, Dr. Pollock was invited to join the MD Anderson Cancer Center faculty. While serving as an assistant professor of surgery, Dr. Pollock began graduate studies at The University of Texas Health Science Center/Houston, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, which culminated in his receipt of a Ph.D. in tumor immunology in 1990. In 1993, Dr. Pollock took on the role of Chair of the Department of Surgical Oncology at MD Anderson, a position that he held until 2010. In 1996, he became Head of the Division of Surgery at MD Anderson, a position entailing supervisory relationships with all seven surgical specialty departments at the institution. In 2013, Dr. Pollock joined The Ohio State University as Professor and Director of the Division of Surgical Oncology and Chief of Surgical Services at the James Comprehensive Cancer Center. In 2015, he was named Surgeon in Chief at The Ohio State University Health System, and in 2017, Dr. Pollock was appointed to his current position as Director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Pollock’s clinical and laboratory research work focuses on soft tissue sarcoma, a rare tumor system of connective tissue origin. Over the years, he has received, as principal investigator, several major funding awards in support of his research, including an NIH/NCI K08 Clinician-Investigator Award (1984-1989), an NIH/NCI R29 FIRST Award (1989-1994), an NIH/NCI R01 Award (1995-2007), an NIH/NCI T32 Training Grant (1999-2010), an NIH/NCI SPORE Award (2012-2017), and a Department of Defense CDMRP Team Science Award (2022-2026). Dr. Pollock was married to the late Dina Lev, M.D., a Professor of Surgery at Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel, and a former Associate Professor of Cancer Biology at MD Anderson; they have five children.
Please click the link below to see a list of previous MD Anderson Distinguished Alumnus Award recipients.