Featuring: Seth Pollack, MD
Lurie Cancer Center aims to recruit physician-scientists who are leaders in their fields. New arrival Seth Pollack, MD, is a renowned expert on immunotherapy strategies for treating rare cancers.
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University has earned many distinctions that burnish its reputation as one of the nation’s leading cancer programs. Among them are a designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, a top-10 national ranking by US News & World Report, and an “exceptional” rating from the National Cancer Institute in 2020.
Part of a great academic medical center, Lurie Cancer Center is positioned among an elite group of institutions in the country that set the standards for cancer care, research, community engagement, and education.
Yet it is not just accomplishments and accolades but people—physicians, scientists, nurses, and staff—who have helped the center blaze a path toward leadership in cancer care and research. Faculty recruitment fuels the long-term success of the center’s research enterprise, and that means attracting ambitious investigators who have begun to develop international reputations, as well as senior scientists who are firmly established as leaders in their fields.
New arrival Seth Pollack, MD, exemplifies the type of outstanding physician-scientist whom Lurie Cancer Center seeks to attract. A leading expert on immunotherapy strategies for treating sarcomas—a rare cancer of the body’s connective tissues—he joined Northwestern Medicine as director of Lurie Cancer Center’s Sarcoma Program in January 2021.
Pollack holds an endowed chair—he is the Steven T. Rosen, MD, Professor of Cancer Biology—and is an associate professor of medicine in the division of hematology and oncology at the Feinberg School of Medicine. Widely recognized for his clinical expertise in both sarcoma and immune-based therapies, he is developing new ways to enhance a patient’s immune responses against their cancer and improve their outcomes.
What drew Pollack to Northwestern from his previous position at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle? “My family and I loved Seattle, but I was getting to a point in my career where I felt like making a move would help me take my work to the next level,” Pollack said.
Renowned in his field, Pollack received job offers from several different institutions. “I actually think the endowed chair was the thing in Northwestern’s offer that sealed the deal for me,” he said. “It is amazing having a position that guarantees a stream of funding in support of my research.”
Lurie Cancer Center aims to raise significant philanthropic support—including gifts to drive faculty recruitment—to bring its innovative research, training, and community impact efforts to the next level for patients in Chicagoland and worldwide.
“Gifts of all sizes from our donors have such a positive impact on what we can pursue and accomplish at Lurie Cancer Center,” said Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD, the center’s director and the Jesse, Sara, Andrew, Abigail, Benjamin, and Elizabeth Lurie Professor of Oncology in the Departments of Medicine and Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics.
“Whether it’s an extraordinary endowed professorship, such as Steven T. Rosen, MD, Chair in Cancer Biology, or a generous annual gift that we count on to support our research and educational activities, philanthropy is helping us bring Lurie Cancer Center to the next level of exceptional,” Platanias said. “We are so grateful to the growing community of individuals and groups that believe in the mission of Lurie Cancer Center and invest in our devoted team. Each and every gift makes a difference.”
This article was originally published in the Northwestern Giving News on April 14, 2021.
Seth Pollack, MD, an associate professor of Hematology and Oncology and an expert sarcoma specialist serving as the Director of the Sarcoma Program at the Lurie Cancer Center and the Steven T. Rosen Professor of Cancer Biology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. As a physician-scientist, he is developing novel immunotherapies for patients with advanced sarcoma and leveraging unique features of sarcoma immunobiology to improve immunotherapy for all patients with cancer.
Northwestern Medicine welcomes the opportunity to partner with you in caring for your patients.