Jeffrey Miller on Scientific Goals
  Jeffrey Miller     Biography    
Recorded: 08 Mar 2006

I still work in DNA repair and mutagenesis. On the one hand, scientifically...though I must say, the way I look at my… my goals in science which have not changed for a very long time, are two fold. One is to try to advance scientific knowledge, and to help to train the next generation of scientists. That’s what my mentors did, and that’s what I want to do. There’s still an enormous amount to find out about repair mutagenesis and most biological processes that’s opened up by the whole genomics world, where now one can use different model organisms because they’re now amenable to analysis. Because by knowing the whole gene sequence we can create knockouts and quasi-genetic systems where we couldn’t before.

In addition to trying to find out as yet discover undiscovered treasures in e. Coli that will give us insights in things that might occur in humans, just like we did with mutY. We’re also very interested in helping develop Bacillus Anthracis, which is what causes anthrax, to try to use DNA repair and mutagenesis, and that to help both create systems for that, but also to look at some interesting biological questions. And so that’s partly where our research is headed.

Jeffrey H. Miller, Ph.D., is the Distinguished Professor of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles. After receiving his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Rochester, he did graduate work in biochemistry and molecular biology at Harvard in the department that included Jim Watson and Walter Gilbert, doing his thesis work under Jonathan Beckwith at Harvard Medical School. His postdoctoral work was pursued under Benno Müller-Hill at the Institute for Genetics of the University of Cologne in Germany, followed by 11 years on the faculty at the University of Geneva's Department of Molecular Biology, which was then headed by Alfred Tissières. In 1983 he joined the faculty at UCLA, where his scientific focus has been large-scale DNA sequencing and genomic analysis, the enzymology of DNA repair, protein structure, and the role of DNA repair enzymes in human cancer. He received the 2007 Career Award for Research from the Environmental Mutagen Society.

Miller has been a frequent participant at Cold Spring Harbor Symposia, a course lecturer at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and a co-organizer of two meetings at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's Banbury Center. He has been a consultant and principal in various biotechnology companies since the 1980s. In 1994 he co-founded Diversa Corporation, which has merged to become Verenium, a publicly owned biofuel company. He is the author of several books and laboratory manuals published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, including "Experiments in Molecular Genetics" (1972), "A Short Course in Bacterial Genetics" (1992), and "Discovering Molecular Genetics" (1996).