Catherine H. Poholek, MD, PhD

  • Instructor of Pediatrics

Dr. Catherine (Katie) Poholek received her MD and PhD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Scientist Training Program, where she studied the role of interleukin-21 in intestinal health and disease in the lab of Dr. Laurie Harrington. She completed her pediatric residency at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh as part of the Pediatric Scientist Development Program (Integrated Research Pathway) after which she began her fellowship in Pediatric Rheumatology. She is interested in studying the role of type 17 helper T cells (Th17s) in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, which she will pursue in the lab of Dr. Mandy McGeachy.

Professional and Scientific Society Memberships


Education & Training

  • BS, Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame, 2005
  • MS, Teaching, Pace University, 2007
  • PhD, Immunology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2014
  • MD, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2016
  • Residency in Pediatrics, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, 2016-2019
  • Fellowship in Pediatric Rheumatology, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, 2019-2022

Selected Publications

Catherine Poholek, Itay Raphael, Dongwen Wu, Shankar K Revu, Natalie Rittenhouse, Uzo Uche, Saikat Majumder, Lawrence Kane, Amanda C Poholek, Mandy J McGeachy. Non-canonical STAT3 activity sustains pathogenic Th17 proliferation and cytokine response to antigen. (In Press, Journal of Experimental Medicine). 

Gerard Hernandez Mir, Itay Raphael, Shankar Revu, Catherine H Poholek, Lyndsay Avery, William F Hawse, Lawrence P Kane, Mandy J McGeachy. The Alzheimer’s disease-associated protein BACE1 modulates T cell activation and Th17 function. Journal of Immunology. 2019 Aug 1;203(3):665-675. PMID: 31209103 

Catherine H Poholek, Sarah J Dulson, Allan J Zajac, Laurie E Harrington. IL-21 Controls ILC3 Cytokine Production and Promotes a Protective Phenotype in a Mouse Model of Colitis. Immunohorizons. June 1, 2019; 3 (6) 194-202. PMID: 31356165 

Matthew L Stoll, Dina Amin, Kathlyn K Powell, Catherine H Poholek, Rachel H Strait, Inmaculada Aban, Timothy Beukelman, Daniel Young, Randy Q Cron, Peter D Waite. Risk factors for intraarticular heterotopic bone formation in the temporomandibular joint in juvenile idiopathic arthritis.  The Journal of Rheumatology Sep 2018; 45 (9) 1301-1307. PMID: 29764966 

Full Publication List via NIH PubMed »

Research Grants

T32 5T32AI089443-10, Autoimmunity and Immunopathology, 2020-2021, NIH/NIAID