Dr. Pollycove began his biomedical research in 1951 at the US Army Chemical Center with two-year establishment of the cause of non hemorrhagic fatal traumatic shock. Hematology research began in 1953 at Boston VA Hospital using Chromium-51 and Iron-59 to quantify iron and red cell kinetics in normal subjects and patients. This research was refined and expanded at UCB. Metabolic studies of glucose, monocarbon pool, folic acid, and vitamin B 12 were initiated at Domes Laboratory, UCB and continued at San Francisco General Hospital (110 publications, 66 abstracts). As Director of the Clinical Laboratory SFGH, he was responsible for services of the Chemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology Divisions and also additionally responsible as Division Chief of the Nuclear Medicine, Hematology, and Blood Bank services. Teaching of Nuclear Medicine, Hematology, and Clinical Pathology to residents, medical students and house officers was also a major responsibility. Participation in numerous national and international organizations and activities served to develop the specialties of nuclear medicine, hematology, and clinical pathology.
As an NRC Visiting Medical Fellow, he was expected to understand and be familiar with the charge, policy and function of the NRC; to provide the NRC with expertise in the medical use of radioisotopes, both diagnostic and therapeutic; and be an effective liaison responsive interface and good communicant between the NRC and the medical community. In addition, a number of projects were of special importance: The Quality Management Program and extension to Pregnancy and Breast Feeding; The National Academy of Science Institute of Medicine Review and Assessment of NRC Regulation of Medical Activities; General Morbidity and Mortality Risks of General Anesthesia, Surgery, Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy and Radiation Therapy Misadministration; International Symposium and Workshop on Quality Guidelines in Nuclear Medicine; Evaluation of EPA Risk Analysis of I-129 Release from a Spent Fuel Repository; the Sacred Heart Hospital Investigation, and Evaluation and Communication of the Radiobiological Effects of Low Level Radiation Exposures. This evaluation and analysis continues to be his primary research project because of its overriding importance to our understanding of low-dose radiation in health and disease and its consequent impact on prevention and therapy of cancer, the disposal of radioactive waste and the needless expenditure of many hundreds of billions of dollars. This project includes conferences, lectures, publications, collaboration with the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation in preparing Annex B of the UNSCEAR 1994 report, and support of Biological Effects of Low Level Exposures (BELLE) activities and the future of nuclear energy (1991-2009).