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David M. Pollock, PhD

David M. Pollock, PhD
School of Medicine, Division of Nephrology
KAUL 802B Zip 0006
Phone: (205) 934-3592
Full CV

Biographical Sketch

David Pollock is Professor in the Division of Nephrology Department of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He serves as Director of the Cardio-Renal Physiology and Medicine section, a translational research program supported jointly by the Division of Cardiovascular Disease and Division of Nephrology. Pollock earned his Ph.D. degree in Physiology from the University of Cincinnati in 1983 with Robert Banks as his advisor. His thesis project comprised some of the first papers ever published on the renal actions of atrial natriuretic factor. He then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under the direction of William Arendshorst in the world-famous micropuncture lab run by Carl W. Gottschalk. He conducted a series studies related to mechanisms of autoregulation of renal blood flow and tubuloglomerular feedback. He then spent two years as a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Circadian Physiology at Harvard University in Boston where he worked on a NASA supported project studying fluid volume regulation in a ground-based model of weightlessness. In 1989, he took a position in the Drug Discovery division of Abbott Laboratories in Chicago. While at Abbott, he worked on several projects including atrial peptide analogs, angiotensin receptor antagonists, and endothelin receptor antagonists. Most of his work focused on proof of concept studies in various animal models of hypertension and renal disease.

In 1995, Pollock decided to move back to academia and accept a faculty position at the Medical College of Georgia (now known as Georgia Regents University) where he served as a faculty member in the Vascular Biology Center and eventually led the establishment of the Experimental Medicine section in the Department of Medicine. In January 2014, Pollock moved to his current position at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he is leading the development of a translational research group focusing on renal and cardiovascular physiology. 

Pollock’s research has been continuously supported by a series of National Institutes of Health and American Heart Association grants including an AHA Established Investigator Award from 2000-2005. He currently serves as deputy director and project leader on a National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Program Project Grant (PPG) focusing on stress in hypertension risk. He is also Principle Investigator on another PPG that investigates mechanisms of endothelin control of renal hemodynamics and excretory function. This work is a collaborative effort with fellow APS members including Jennifer Pollock, Edward Inscho, Donald Kohan, James Stockand, and Jennifer Sullivan. Since August of 2013, Pollock also serves as Co-PI of a Center Grant (U01) investigating the role of endothelin in sickle cell nephropathy in both animal models and humans. He has also held a series of investigator-initiated grants from companies including Abbott Labs, Takeda and Astra-Zeneca Pharmaceuticals and has served as a scientific advisor for Abbott, Gilead, Speedel, and Astra-Zeneca. He has served on many NIH and AHA scientific peer review panels including the AHA National Cardio-Renal study section where he served as chair and the NIH F10A panel on organ system pathophysiology reviewing individual training grants since 2005.

Pollock has authored 150 peer-reviewed papers along with nearly 40 invited reviews and commentaries and 11 book chapters including one as editor. Pollock recently completed a 6 year term as Associate Editor for the American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. He has been a Topic Editor for the renal section of Comprehensive Physiology for the past 5 years and recently accepted the assignment of Editor in Chief. Pollock has also served as Associate Editor of Vascular Pharmacology as well as several other guest editorships. He also serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulation, Hypertension, and Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry. He has been a member of the APS Publications Committee for the past 3 years.

Pollock has been active in a wide range of national and international organizations. He was recently elected at the 87th President of the American Physiological Society. He has organized several conferences with APS as well as a FASEB Summer Conference, the International Conference on Endothelin, and a Forefronts Conference with the International Society of Nephrology. He serves as a founding member of the International Advisory Board for the bi-annual conferences on endothelin. 

In terms of additional APS service, Pollock has served on the Career Opportunities Committee, the Liaison with Industry Committee, Committee on Committees, APS Council as well as several posts within the APS Renal Section. At the Medical College of Georgia, Pollock served for nearly 10 years as the founding Chair of the Curriculum Committee for the Biomedical Sciences PhD Program. He has directed an NIH supported institutional training program in cardiovascular biology for the past 10 years. 

Pollock has received a number of honors and awards including the Louis K Dahl Award for hypertension research from the AHA in 2013. At the Medical College of Georgia, he has received the Outstanding Faculty Award and the Distinguished Basic Science Research Award, among several others. 

Research/Clinical Interest

Hypertension and Renal Disease

Pollock’s research deals with the control of sodium excretion and the role of the kidney in blood pressure regulation. His long-standing interest in natriuretic factors has led to his active involvement in elucidating the actions of endothelin, primarily within the kidney but also in vascular and nervous systems. His research has helped to elucidate the opposing actions of endothelin A versus endothelin B receptors in both renal vasculature and the tubular system. Recent studies from his lab have suggested that defects in the endothelin B receptor system contribute to salt-sensitivity in hypertension. More recently, his research has included collaborators conducting human studies that address these same mechanisms. His work also includes the role of endothelin in glomerular injury where his lab has conducted important proof of concept studies providing evidence that endothelin contributes directly to diabetic glomerular dysfunction and that ETA receptor antagonists exert therapeutic benefit as recently shown in clinical trials. This work has extended beyond diabetes and now includes sickle nephropathy, a problem of rising incidence in subjects with sickle cell disease.


University of Evansville - B.S.(1978)
University of Cincinnati - Ph.D.(1983)