Richard Pollack


Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases

Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases

665 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 617.432.1587


My work seeks to define the ecological, behavioral and physiological bases that sustain and amplify vector-borne pathogens in nature.

My research currently focuses on defining a person’s risk of acquiring certain vector borne agents, determining the epidemic potential and insecticide susceptibility of human lice, and identifying the sources and solutions to an international border health problem.

I have developed a novel complex computer simulation program that models the enzootic and epidemic transmission of EEE virus, and provides links to database and geographical information systems to create timely data correlation and forecasting of impending outbreak situations. The model serves to test hypotheses relating to the competence and capacity of diverse vectors and reservoirs, and to evaluate the efficacy of public health interventions. Field and laboratory activities complement computer modeling and simulation efforts.

The transmission kinetics of human head louse infestations and the emergence of insecticide resistance amongst populations of these lice are topics of intense investigation within this laboratory. Through the development of laboratory insecticidal bioassays and molecular/genetic tools we are probing issues of louse population dynamics and the potential for the spread of resistance. This apparent epidemic also serves as valuable model system for the spread of other human pathogens and parasites.

A web-based resource has been developed for health care providers and the general public (


Ph.D., 1988, The University of Pennsylvania
M.Sc., 1980, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
B.S., 1979, Cornell University