Published May 20, 2021
Gary M. Pollack, professor and dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Toledo, has been appointed dean of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
The announcement was made today by Provost A. Scott Weber, and Michael E. Cain, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB. Pollack will join UB in August.
An alumnus of the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pollack emerged as the top candidate following a highly competitive national search. He brings nearly 40 years of experience in higher education, also serving in leadership roles at Washington State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“I am delighted that one of our most distinguished alumni is returning to UB to elevate the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences to its next tier of excellence,” said President Satish K. Tripathi. “Dr. Pollack is an astute and thoughtful higher education leader whose breadth of knowledge and depth of expertise position him well to build on the many strengths of our pharmacy school and cultivate pharmaceutical research scientists and clinicians who are committed to tackling society’s most pressing health care challenges.”
“Dr. Pollack brings to this role extensive leadership experience, exceptional scholarly and teaching accomplishments, a collaborative approach to leadership, and an innovative and ambitious vision for the school,” Weber and Cain said in an announcement to the university community.
“Under his leadership, we are confident that the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences will continue to be a global leader in delivering groundbreaking research, innovation and clinical care and excellent educational programs that prepare students to become the next generation of health care professionals and leaders,” the announcement said.
Pollack succeeds James M. O’Donnell, who during his seven-and-a-half years as dean of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences oversaw the school’s rise in national rankings, launched new educational programs, and recruited world-class faculty members to UB. O’Donnell is returning to a faculty role at UB as professor of pharmaceutical sciences, and pharmacology and toxicology.
As dean, Pollack will provide overall leadership to the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, promote academic excellence and advance its national and international prominence in research. He will serve as a member of UB’s senior leadership team, working collaboratively with the president, provost, vice president for health sciences, cabinet members and other deans to advance the university’s strategic vision and mission.
“I want to thank Provost Weber, Vice President Cain and President Tripathi for the opportunity to return to my alma mater and serve the UB community,” Pollack said. “The UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is one of the strongest in the nation, with a long and distinguished history. I am grateful to be a part of the school’s next chapter.”
Prior to joining the University of Toledo in 2019, Pollack served as dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Washington State University for nearly a decade and as vice provost for health sciences from 2011-13. At Washington State, he led the college’s relocation to the Health Sciences Spokane campus, reinvigorated its professional degree program, strengthened graduate education and faculty research, and enhanced alumni engagement.
Pollack also spent 26 years at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was executive associate dean from 2004-10 and chair of the school’s Division of Drug Delivery and Disposition from 1992-2006.
He now joins the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, which was recently ranked No. 14 among more than 140 schools of pharmacy nationwide in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best Graduate Schools rankings.
Pollack’s research focuses on how drugs and toxicants affect the central nervous system, and he has made significant contributions to the understanding of opioid tolerance. A prolific author, he has published more than 150 academic journal articles and delivered 45 research presentations.
He is co-founder of Qualyst Inc., a company formed in 2001 on breakthrough research co-authored by Pollack. The company develops in vitro hepatic models to predict the effect of drugs and other compounds on the human liver. Pollack also holds a patent for a method and apparatus that rapidly determines ligand protein binding using charcoal absorption.
Pollack has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the 2009 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Pharmaceutical Research Meritorious Manuscript Award. He is a fellow of both the AAPS and American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also serves on the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Experimental Pharmacology, and was the former associate editor of the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
A dedicated educator, Pollack was named best instructor at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy five times, and has advised and trained more than 50 postdoctoral fellows and graduate and undergraduate students.
He received a doctorate in pharmaceutics from the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and psychology from Knox College.