Robert H. Miller, neurosciences professor and 20-year veteran of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, has been named vice dean for research at the school.
Miller, the Allen C. Holmes Professor of Neurological Diseases and director of the Center for Translational Neuroscience, fills the role vacated when Pamela B. Davis, M.D., Ph.D. became the School of Medicine's formally appointed dean in September.
"I'm pleased Dr. Miller agreed to take on this new role in service to the School," said Davis. "His passion for basic and translational research and track record of support for faculty research endeavors made him the ideal candidate for this position."
Miller will be responsible for developing new programs as well as overseeing research within the School of Medicine and its affiliated programs, focusing primarily on individual and multidisciplinary programs.
His immediate focus will be to develop a strategic plan for the School of Medicine, one that will work in concert with the university's plan. He co-chairs the school's strategic plan steering committee with James Kazura, professor of international health and medicine and director of the Center for Global Health & Diseases at the School of Medicine.
"It's a very interesting and exciting time to take over this position," Miller said. "The strategic plan we develop now will allow us to direct the programs that will drive research development at the School of Medicine for the next five to ten years."
Among those programs in development are interdisciplinary ones that interface the School of Medicine with other schools within the university, as well as with area hospitals and other affiliates.
"I'm really interested in developing these programs and building core facilities that will benefit the entire university," Miller said while noting programs that bring basic and clinical sciences together as a primary interest.
Miller first came to the School of Medicine in 1984 and spent two years as a senior research associate in the developmental genetics and anatomy department and returned in 1987 as a visiting assistant professor in the same department. In 1989, he moved to the department of neurosciences, rising from assistant professor to his current post.
"I'm a veteran academic and I will continue to run my own lab," Miller said. "I believe it gives me an advantage in thinking about what is needed in the area of research, because of my own active program and seeing the issues it faces firsthand. Additionally, as a longtime faculty member, I see the critical interface between the faculty and administration."
Miller's longstanding area of research is neural development and stem cells, trying to understand cellular and molecular control of the nervous system and cell proliferation and migration. Other research areas include multiple sclerosis, myelin repair, brain tumor biology, cerebral palsy and spinal cord injury.
As director of the Center for Translational Neuroscience, Miller leads the effort to translate promising research more rapidly into new approaches towards the treatment of neurological disease and dysfunction. The Center seeks to provide a comprehensive link between investigators at the bench and physicians in the clinic through interaction, education and training and is part of the Neurological Institute at University Hospitals. Miller is also a founding member of a non-profit organization the Myelin Repair Foundation, a collaborative medical research foundation that specializes in translating Multiple Sclerosis research into therapeutics.
Miller earned his bachelor and doctoral degrees in zoology from University College in London, England. He holds appointments in the department of neurosurgery at University Hospitals of Cleveland, at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and has an adjunct appointment at the Lerner Institute of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
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