Scripps Research Logo

Kenneth Michael Pollard, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine
Department of Molecular Medicine
California Campus
Laboratory Website
Scripps VIVO Scientific Profile
mpollard@scripps.edu
(858) 784-9214

Research Focus

Autoimmunity Induced by Environmental Exposure

Our research seeks to understand mechanisms of systemic autoimmunity, and the role that environmental exposures play in the initiation and/or exacerbation of autoimmune disease. Together with collaborators in TSRI and elsewhere we pioneered the use of mercury-induced autoimmunity (HgIA) as a model for the study of environmental-induced systemic autoimmunity. More recent studies include use of crystalline silica exposure as this has considerable relevance to environmental autoimmunity in humans. Currently we focus on three major areas of investigation: 1) Role of innate and adaptive immune responses in environmental-induced autoimmunity, 2) Importance of interferons in regulating the severity of environmental-induced autoimmunity, and 3) Use of the Diversity Outbred (DO) mouse as a model of silica-induced autoimmunity.

Education

B.S., Biochemistry, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 1974
Ph.D., Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 1983

Professional Experience

2007-Present. Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA.
1997- 2006 Associate Professor, W.M. Keck Autoimmune Disease Center, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, U.S.A.
1992-1996 Assistant Member (Professor), W.M. Keck Autoimmune Disease Center, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, U.S.A.
1987-1991 Senior Research Associate, W.M. Keck Autoimmune Disease Center, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, U.S.A.
1985-1987 Research Officer, Sutton Rheumatism Research Laboratory, Royal North Shore Hospital, St. Leonards, NSW, Australia.
1982-1985 Research Associate, W.M. Keck Autoimmune Disease Center, Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, California, U.S.A.
1975-1978 Scientific Officer, Sutton Rheumatism Research Laboratory, Royal North Shore Hospital, St. Leonards, NSW, Australia.

Awards & Professional Activities

Australian Commonwealth University Scholarship 1972-1974.
Eleanor Sophia Wood Traveling Fellow of the University of Sydney, Australia 1982-1983.
Research Awardee, NSW Lupus Association, Australia 1982-1983.
Terri Gotthelf Lupus Research Institute Scholar, U.S.A. 1988-1991.
First Independent Research Support and Transition (FIRST) Award (R29), National Institute of Allergy and Immunology, NIH, USA 1991-1996.
Dr. Pollard is one of the autoimmune disease researchers featured in Donna Jackson Nakazawa's The Autoimmune Epidemic. Touchstone/Simon and Schuster, 2008. 352 pages.
Books: Autoantibodies and Autoimmunity: Molecular Mechanisms in Health and Disease. Pollard, K.M. (Ed.) Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany, 2006. 640 pages.

Selected References

All Publications

Pollard, K.M. Silica, silicosis, and autoimmunity. Front. Immunol. 2016 Mar 11;7:97. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2016.00097. eCollection 2016. Review.

Pollard, K.M. Environment, autoantibodies and autoimmunity. Front. Immunol. 2015 Feb 11;6:60. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2015.00060. eCollection 2015. Review.

Toomey, C.B., Cauvi, D.M., Hamel, J.C., Ramirez, A.E., and Pollard, K.M. Cathepsin B regulates the appearance and severity of mercury-induced inflammation and autoimmunity. Toxicological Science. 2014. 142. p339-49

Ong, J., Erdei, E., Rubin R.L., Miller, C., Ducheneaux, C., O'Leary, M., Pacheco, B., Mahler, M., Henderson, P.N., Pollard, K.M., and Lewis, J.L. Mercury, autoimmunity, and environmental factors on Cheyenne river Sioux tribal lands. Autoimmune Diseases 2014;2014:325461. doi: 10.1155/2014/325461. Epub 2014 Apr 24.

Maine, C.J., Marquardt, K., Scatizzi, J.C., Pollard, K.M., Kono, D.H., and Sherman, L.A. The effect of the autoimmunity-associated gene, PTPN22, on a BXSB-derived model of lupus. Clinical Immunology. 2014 156. p65-73.

Pollard, K.M., Cauvi, D.M., Toomey, C.B., Morris, K.V., and Kono, D.H. Interferon-gamma and Systemic Autoimmunity. Discovery Medicine. 2013. 16. p123-131.

Pollard, K.M. and Kono, D.H. Requirements for innate immune pathways in environmentally induced autoimmunity. BMC Medicine. 2013. 11:100. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-11-100.

Pollard, K.M., Hultman P, Toomey CB, Cauvi DM, Hoffman HM, Hamel JC, Kono DH. Definition of IFN-γ-related pathways critical for chemically-induced systemic autoimmunity. Journal of Autoimmunity. 2012. 39. p323-31

Links

TSRI Scientists Win $1.2M Grant to Study Environmental Triggers of Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Expert panel examines autoimmunity research

"The Autoimmune Epidemic" by Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Questions Persist: Environmental Factors in Autoimmune Disease

Examining Assumptions about Female Dominance in Autoimmune Disease

Molecular and Experimental Medicine Home Page