A L U M N I P R O F I L E From Cancer to Ebola— Lori A. Pollack, MD ’99, MPH, is Making Her Mark in Public Health L F ori A. (Loria) Pollack, MD ’99, MPH, freely admits Rutgers and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School are a family tradition. “I’m a New Jersey girl and still drive around with a big ‘R’ on the back of my car,” she says. Her father, Edmund Heilmeier, attended pharmacy school at Rutgers in the 1950s. Dr. Pollack also met her husband, Brian, while he was enrolled in Rutgers’ MD/PhD program. amily ties aside, Dr. Pollack decided on Robert Wood Johnson Medical School because of the unique MD/MPH dual degree. Public health was her choice because she believes that although clinical doctors can affect the health of a panel of patients, public health physicians can impact the health of entire populations. She serves as a medical epidemiologist and has a rank of captain in the U.S. Public Health Service, a unique uniform service with a history going back more than 200 years. Dr. Pollack is currently assigned to the Division of Cancer L Y N D A R U D O L P H B Y Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta. Since she joined the Public Health Service, her career has been nothing short of remarkable. Dr. Pollack has spearheaded federally funded research, provided scientific oversight for highprofile projects, helped train hundreds of health professionals, led an international task force, and conducted highimpact research. She has also authored or co-authored more than 50 publications and 50 national presentations and received dozens of recognitions and awards — including a Presidential Citation. Most recently, Dr. Pollack was responsible for the scientific oversight of analyses resulting from a National Program of Cancer Registries study that obtained detailed information on biomarkers and treatment of more than 75,000 new breast, colorectal, and leukemia cases. This special study will enable researchers to compare effectiveness in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Cancer prevention and screening are two of her top priorities. “In cancer prevention and control, we look at communities that need care and determine the evidence-based practices to reach them,” Dr. Pollack says. “For example, we support a national program for breast and cervical cancer screenings for women who are underinsured and use our cancer registry information to target screening and HPV immunization.” For Dr. Pollack, these kinds of public health initiatives reflect a higher level of caring that affects an entire community. She also has a special interest: cancer survivorship. “There is a basic education and messaging out there about screening—but it’s also important to 42 Robert Wood Johnson I MEDICINE