April 2 marks the day that Frederick Miller, M.D., Ph.D., formally retires and begins his new position as Scientist Emeritus. To honor Miller’s lifetime of scientific achievements, his colleagues at NIEHS and around the globe gathered March 5 for a digital retirement symposium.
Three members of his Environmental Autoimmunity Group (EAG) deliberate the occasion — Appearing Group Head and Senior Analysis Doctor Lisa Rider, M.D.; Employees Clinician Adam Schiffenbauer, M.D.; and Administrative Specialist Beverly Sellers-Robinson. Collaborators and buddies gave shows and joined in a networking session (see sidebar).
“Fred, thanks for every thing you might have accomplished for the NIEHS Scientific Analysis Department, NIH, and the broader myositis and autoimmune illness neighborhood,” mentioned NIEHS Scientific Director Janet Corridor, M.D., in her welcome tackle.
Rick Woychik, Ph.D., director of NIEHS and the Nationwide Toxicology Program (NTP), praised Miller for being a job mannequin for younger researchers.
“You’ve demonstrated that you may be a first-rate, extremely revered physician-scientist and on the similar time be a genuinely caring, heat, and pleasant colleague,” Woychik mentioned.
Forging ties with affected person assist teams
Folks with myositis have muscle irritation that causes weak spot, swelling, and ache. Rider mentioned Miller was instrumental in establishing The Myositis Association. He served on the board of administrators, as vice-chair of the Medical Advisory Board, and helped set up its peer-reviewed grants program.
He was additionally an advisor to the Cure JM Foundation and Myositis UK. Rider, Miller, and two different colleagues co-edited Myositis and You, maybe essentially the most broadly learn e book for sufferers with juvenile myositis and their dad and mom.
“An essential distinction of Fred’s analysis has been his give attention to sufferers,” Rider mentioned. “They had been all the time on the heart, when it comes to the analysis questions that will make a distinction of their lives.”
Vanguard of autoimmune analysis
In 1991, Miller coauthored a paper that became foundational in myositis research. In it, he described categorizing myositis sufferers based mostly on their autoantibody profiles. Many extra articles would quickly observe.
In 1994, Miller and Rider helped decide that juvenile myositis autoimmunity was related to adult myositis autoimmunity, which contradicted accepted information on the time. The work led to EAG creating the most important myositis databases and pattern repositories on this planet.
Miller, Rider, and different researchers established the International Myositis Assessment and Clinical Studies (IMACS) Group in 1999 to search out therapies and perceive the causes of the illness. These accomplishments and extra prompted the American Faculty of Rheumatology to pick out him as a Grasp in 2016, one of many school’s highest accolades.
A life and profession well-lived
Along with the talks, Sellers-Robinson handled Miller to a video that spotlighted his international attain, with tributes from France, England, Australia, Guatemala, and elsewhere.
“He’s the quintessential scientific investigator,” mentioned NIEHS Scientific Director Darryl Zeldin, M.D. “His landmark research on myositis syndromes have revolutionized how we take into consideration autoimmune illness.”
“It has been a splendidly fulfilling 4 many years making an attempt to unravel the mysteries of autoimmunity,” Miller mentioned. “None of this work would have been doable with out the knowledge, collegiality, generosity of spirit, and selflessness of my household and the numerous colleagues too quite a few to checklist who I’ve had the consideration and massive pleasure of working with.”
A short bio-sketch
Miller earned a B.S. in zoology from Miami College in Ohio, then obtained M.D. and Ph.D. levels from Case Western Reserve College. He accomplished an inner drugs internship and scientific analysis coaching at Emory College. At Stanford College, Miller accomplished a medical residency.
Miller’s rheumatology profession started in 1983 when he joined the laboratory of Paul Plotz, M.D., in what’s now the Nationwide Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Pores and skin Ailments (NIAMS).
After leaving NIAMS in 1990, Miller spent a decade on the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration, then joined NIEHS in 2001. He served as performing NIEHS scientific director from 2011 to 2013, adopted by deputy chief of the NIEHS Scientific Analysis Department till his retirement. Miller has printed greater than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and has been cited greater than 22,000 instances.
Love LA, Leff RL, Fraser DD, Targoff IN, Dalakas M, Plotz PH, Miller FW. 1991. A brand new method to the classification of idiopathic inflammatory myopathy: myositis-specific autoantibodies outline helpful homogeneous affected person teams. Drugs (Baltimore) 70(6):360–374.
Rider LG, Miller FW, Targoff IN, Sherry DD, Samayoa E, Lindahl M, Wener MH, Pachman LM, Plotz PH. 1994. A broadened spectrum of juvenile myositis. Myositis-specific autoantibodies in kids. Arthritis Rheum 37(10):1534–1538.