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Richard  Pollenz

Richard Pollenz

Richard Pollenz
Professor & Associate Dean, Director - Office For Undergraduate Research (OUR)


Office: LIB 210
Phone: 813/974-6824
Lab: BSF 123, 125
Fax: 813/905-9919



OUR Logo

Richard S. Pollenz earned a BS degree in Toxicology from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science and a PhD in Cellular, Molecular and Structural Biology from Northwestern University. He was a tenured faculty member at the Medical University of South Carolina prior to taking a position within the Biology Department at the University of South Florida in 2000. Dr. Pollenz’s research program has been funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and focused on aspects of molecular toxicology. His research included studies of gene regulation and protein degradation mediated by environmental chemicals such as TCDD. His lab published over 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts in many of the top journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Molecular Pharmacology, Journal of Biological Chemistry and Toxicological Sciences.

Richard Pollenz PhD teaching undergraduate research students at USF


He was named a Fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his contributions to the field of Molecular Pharmacology in 2013.Dr. Pollenz served USF as the Associate Dean in the USF Graduate School between 2008-2011 where he developed numerous professional development workshops for graduate students and used institutional data analysis to help inform practices and procedures.

OUR Research Colloquium


He is currently serving USF as an Associate Dean within Undergraduate Studies as the Director of the Office for Undergraduate Research (OUR). In this role, Dr. Pollenz continues to investigate innovations in teaching and learning that engage undergraduates in research to enhance their academic progression and professional development.

Office of Undergraduate Research at The Univeristy of South Florida

Personal Bio



Ph.D. - Cellular, Molecular and Structural Biology (Northwestern University)

BS - Toxicology (Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science)

STEM Education Research, Environmental Molecular Toxicology, Cell Biology


Since 2012 my research focus is exclusively in the area of Discipline Based Education Research or DBER.  Several grants and publications in this area are pending. Specifically, I am engaged in big data analysis of >25,000 student records to determine true persistence rates for STEM and non STEM majors and to identify areas within the curriculum that may be modified to promote greater retention and achieve higher learning gains.  I am also very interested in innovative methods to teach the natural sciences (flipped classrooms, inquiry-based, high impact practices, etc.) and to measure learning outcomes such as the use of mobile applications and competency-based assessments. Finally, we endeavor to develop and evaluate innovative methods to increase institutional capacity for undergraduate research.  Although CMMB does not currently have a biology education track for the PhD, there are several DBER faculty in the SNSM departments and students interested in these or other STEM education research areas should contact me directly to discuss the possibility for graduate work.

Current Courses

RefCourseSecCourse TitleCRDayTimeLocation
93003IDS 2912005Undergrad Research Exp

86421BSC 4910024Undergraduate Research

TBA 100
86443BSC 4910025Undergraduate Research

TBA 100
89785IDS 4914003Adv Undergrad Research Exp

90336IDS 4914020Adv Undergrad Research Exp

TBA 100
95630IDS 4914122Adv Undergrad Research Exp


Recent Journal Articles


Honors and Award


AAAS Fellow - 2013



Experiments in Cell Biology
By Richard Pollenz, Mary Kimble & Andrew Cannons



Recent Publications


View all publications

R. Potter, G. Meisels, P. Stiling, J. Lewis, C. Beneteau, K. Yee, R. Pollenz; “Transforming
Institutions: Undergraduate STEM Education for the 21st Century
” G. Weaver, W.
Burgess, A. Childress and L. Slakey Editors. Purdue University Press; 10/15/15

Kawajiri K, Kobayashi Y, Ohtake F, Ikuta T, Matsushima Y, Mimura J, Pettersson
S, Pollenz RS, Sakaki T, Hirokawa T, Akiyama T, Kurosumi M, Poellinger L, Kato S,
Fujii-Kuriyama Y. Aryl hydrocarbon receptor suppresses intestinal carcinogenesis
in ApcMin/+ mice with natural ligands
. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Aug
11;106(32):13481-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0902132106. Epub 2009 Jul 27. PubMed PMID:
19651607; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2726415.

Zeruth G, Pollenz RS. Isolation and characterization of a dioxin-inducible
CYP1A1 promoter/enhancer region from zebrafish (Danio rerio)
. Zebrafish.
2005;2(3):197-210. doi: 10.1089/zeb.2005.2.197. PubMed PMID: 18248194.

Dougherty EJ, Pollenz RS. Analysis of Ah receptor-ARNT and Ah receptor-ARNT2
complexes in vitro and in cell culture.
Toxicol Sci. 2008 May;103(1):191-206.
Epub 2007 Dec 20. PubMed PMID: 18096572; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2396590.

Evans BR, Karchner SI, Allan LL, Pollenz RS, Tanguay RL, Jenny MJ, Sherr DH,
Hahn ME. Repression of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) signaling by AHR
repressor: role of DNA binding and competition for AHR nuclear translocator.
2008 Feb;73(2):387-98. Epub 2007 Nov 13. PubMed PMID: 18000031; PubMed
Central PMCID: PMC3263532.

Zeruth G, Pollenz RS. Functional analysis of cis-regulatory regions within the
dioxin-inducible CYP1A promoter/enhancer region from zebrafish (Danio rerio).

Chem Biol Interact. 2007 Nov 20;170(2):100-13. Epub 2007 Jul 18. PubMed PMID:

Pollenz RS. Specific blockage of ligand-induced degradation of the Ah receptor
by proteasome but not calpain inhibitors in cell culture lines from different
. Biochem Pharmacol. 2007 Jun 30;74(1):131-43. Epub 2007 Mar 24. PubMed
PMID: 17445780; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2001188.

Pollenz RS. Comments on "calpain mediates the dioxin-induced activation and
down-regulation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor"
. Mol Pharmacol. 2007
Jan;71(1):384-5; author reply 386-7. PubMed PMID: 17185382.

Pollenz RS, Buggy C. Ligand-dependent and -independent degradation of the
human aryl hydrocarbon receptor (hAHR) in cell culture models.
Chem Biol
2006 Dec 1;164(1-2):49-59. Epub 2006 Aug 25. PubMed PMID: 16978595.

Pollenz RS, Wilson SE, Dougherty EJ. Role of endogenous XAP2 protein on the
localization and nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of the endogenous mouse Ahb-1
receptor in the presence and absence of ligand.
Mol Pharmacol. 2006
Oct;70(4):1369-79. Epub 2006 Jul 11. PubMed PMID: 16835354.

Pollenz RS, Popat J, Dougherty EJ. Role of the carboxy-terminal
transactivation domain and active transcription in the ligand-induced and
ligand-independent degradation of the mouse Ahb-1 receptor.
Biochem Pharmacol.
2005 Nov 25;70(11):1623-33. Epub 2005 Oct 13. PubMed PMID: 16226227.

Pollenz RS, Dougherty EJ. Redefining the role of the endogenous XAP2 and
C-terminal hsp70-interacting protein on the endogenous Ah receptors expressed in
mouse and rat cell lines.
J Biol Chem. 2005 Sep 30;280(39):33346-56. Epub 2005
Aug 5. PubMed PMID: 16085934.

Larsen MC, Brake PB, Pollenz RS, Jefcoate CR. Linked expression of Ah
receptor, ARNT, CYP1A1, and CYP1B1 in rat mammary epithelia, in vitro, is each
substantially elevated by specific extracellular matrix interactions that precede
branching morphogenesis.
Toxicol Sci. 2004 Nov;82(1):46-61. Epub 2004 Aug 5.
PubMed PMID: 15297627.

Wentworth JN, Buzzeo R, Pollenz RS. Functional characterization of aryl
hydrocarbon receptor (zfAHR2) localization and degradation in zebrafish (Danio
Biochem Pharmacol. 2004 Apr 1;67(7):1363-72. PubMed PMID: 15013852.