Principal Investigator

Benjamin L. Miller, Ph.D. University of Rochester work Box 697 601 Elmwood Ave Rochester NY 14642 office: MC 6-6820 p (585) 275-9805

Honors & News

  • October 2, 2014

    Making PhDs More Employable: New Education Initiative Paves the Way

    Preparing graduate students and post-doctoral trainees for jobs outside of academia is the goal of a new career-training program at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD), supported by $1.8 million from the National Institutes of Health.

    The award to Principal Investigator Stephen Dewhurst Ph.D.,Vice Dean for Research at the SMD, comes at a time when fewer opportunities for tenure-track faculty positions exist, and yet graduate students in biomedical sciences don't always have the awareness, robust training, connections, or transferable skills needed to identify and succeed in a range of other careers.

  • August 8, 2014

    Jim Baker & Ben Miller Work to Develop Small Optical Biosensors to Detect Individual Viruses or Virus Particles.

    Jim Baker

    taken from the University of Rochester's Research Connection, August 8th Issue

    Jim Baker, a Ph.D. student in Physics, is working with Benjamin Miller Ph.D., Professor of Dermatology and of Biochemistry & Biophysics, to develop optical biosensors small enough and sensitive enough to detect individual viruses or virus particles that are only one ten-millionth of a meter in size.

    If somebody is treated for a virus, we currently have no way to tell if somebody is completely cured of that virus, Baker explained. You need a diagnostic sensitive enough to detect a single virus particle, which doesn't exist.

    Baker''s project is to develop just such a diagnostic. He is working on two-dimensional photonic crystal (2DPhC) sensors -- micron-scale devices that are fabricated in silicon and are so small you could fit 74,000 of them on a dime, Miller noted.

    When we pass light through one of these sensors, it traps light of a particular color, Baker said. When a virus binds to our sensor, it changes the color of light that can be trapped, and that allows us to detect if a virus is present.

    Not surprisingly, these sensors are extraordinarily difficult to design, Baker noted, requiring computer simulations showing what color of light is trapped by various geometric patterns, and how the binding of a virus changes that. This generates a large volume of results -- all related, yet all different and needing to be analyzed together, Baker said. It was a significant challenge at first to analyze all of these different data sets separately, while trying to keep them all in mind so I could draw global conclusions.

  • March 14, 2012

    Taking another Shot at RAGE to Tame Alzheimer's

    photo of Ben and Itender

    Benjamin Miller, Ph.D., and Itender Singh, Ph.D.

    Researchers have taken another crack at a promising approach to stopping Alzheimer's disease that encountered a major hurdle last year. In research published this week in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, scientists have developed a compound that targets a molecular actor known as RAGE, which plays a central role in mucking up the brain tissue of people with the disease.

    Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center and the University of Southern California synthesized a compound that stops RAGE in mice - reversing amyloid deposits, restoring healthy blood flow in the brain, squelching inflammation, and making old, sick mice smarter. But the scientists caution that the work has a long way to go before it's considered as a possible treatment in people.

    In the latest work, Zlokovic and colleagues screened thousands of compounds for anti-RAGE activity and identified three that seemed promising. Then the team turned to chemists Benjamin Miller, Ph.D., and graduate student Nathan Ross. The pair analyzed the compounds' molecular structures, then used that knowledge to create dozens of candidates likely to have activity against RAGE.

  • August 26, 2011

    Integrated Nanosystems Center Opens Today

    U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter will join UR President Joel Seligman, Hajim School Dean Rob Clark, and Department of Physics and Astronomy Chair Nicholas Bigelow today for the opening of the Intergrated Nanosystems Center. A news conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in Munnerlyn Atrium, Goergen Hall. The facility brings together the disciplines of physics, optics, chemistry, biomedicine, and bioengineering to enable research in the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

  • July 7, 2011

    Hsin-I Peng Successfully Defends Ph.D. Thesis

    Congratulations to Hsin-I Peng, who successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis in Biomedical Engineering today. Hsin will be moving to a postdoctoral fellowship with Prof. Gang Bao at Georgia Tech.

  • June 24, 2011

    Leslie Ofori Wins Best Poster at 2011 Gordon Research Conference

    Congratulations to Leslie Ofori for winning a best poster award at the 2011 Gordon Research Conference in High Throughput Chemistry and Chemical Biology. As part of his award, Leslie will present an invited talk at the 2013 conference.

  • November 22, 2010

    Ben Miller Speaks at TEDxRochester

    Ben Miller talks about how we apply Play to our exploration of human health.

  • November 1, 2010

    'Smart Bandage' Diagnoses Danger Before Infection Takes Hold

    Benjamin Miller, professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University, and Philippe Fauchet, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, have devised a sand-grain sized wafer that can differentiate between two classes of bacteria, called Gram-positive and Gram-negative.

    The sensor, the first substantial improvement in identifying Gram-positive and negative bacteria since Hans Christian Joachim Gram developed the original staining technique in 1884, is reported in the upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The accomplishment is evidence that it's indeed possible to accurately identify bacteria with a silicon sensor, spurring Miller's team to expand the research to several other types of bacteria, including salmonella, listeria and enteropathogenic E. coli, all of which can cause serious disease in humans.

  • September 27, 2010

    2010 Future of Health Technology Award Presented to Professor Benjamin Miller

    Professor Benjamin L. Miller (Dermatology, Biomedical Engineering, and Biochemistry & Biophysics) has been named the recipient of the 2010 Future of Health Technology Award for his pioneering work in the development of super-sensitive diagnostic devices.

    The award was presented during the annual Future of Health Technology Summit, in Cambridge from Sept. 27-28. The summit will focus on the development of new health technologies across the globe.

    Miller's work is exemplified by the development of new biosensors and diagnostic devices, including the DNA NanoLantern and sensors sensitive enough to detect single viruses. The award is given to those whose work can help reduce suffering, maximize the potential for self-realization and extend human potential with technology. Professor Miller's efforts truly improve the human condition and will revolutionize the way we live, said Renata Bushko, director of FHTI.

  • January 31, 2010

    Adarza is Changing the Future of Diagnostic Testing

    Ben Miller, of Adarza BioSystems (Courtesy of Carlos Ortiz, Democrat and Chronicle staff photographer)

    Adarza BioSystems Inc., a University of Rochester innovation being turned into an everyday, commercially applicable medical device, is at a point somewhere between the defrosting and the baking.

    Like Kodak's camera and Xerox's copier, Adarza, based at the High Tech Rochester new business incubator, is really one core product upon which success will rise or fall. Essentially, it's a biomedical screen or sensor that at microscopic levels uses reflecting laser light to pick out particular biomarkers, or molecules.

    More broadly, Adarza, a Sanskrit word meaning reflected image, feeds Rochester's economic future with the prototypical recipe of imaging innovation, optical precision and engineering brilliance that is calibrated to a mobile, do-it-now medical culture. Benjamin Miller, a faculty member and biomedical research scientist at UR, did the heavy intellectual lifting on Adarza technology in partnership with UR chemist Lewis Rothberg.

  • February 20, 2009

    Benjamin Miller wins Health Care Achievement Award in Innovation from the Rochester Business Journal

    Fourteen individuals and an imaging system technology have been selected as recipients of Rochester Business Journal 2009 Health Care Achievement Awards. BME professor, Dr. Benjamin Miller was honored as one of the recipients of this year's award. Dr. Miller has founded two local companies based on diagnostic biosensing technologies developed in his laboratory.

  • October 31, 2006

    Do I Know You, Sugar?


    The molecule TW545 can recognise a carbohydrate-containing bacterial toxin.

    A molecule that can recognise carbohydrates could further the fight against infections. The carbohydrate-containing compound lipid A is found in certain bacteria and can cause septic shock, a serious condition that may lead to organ failure and death. Ben Miller at the University of Rochester, New York, US, said molecules that selectively bind lipid A could be used to diagnose infection or to treat septic shock.

    Molecular recognition of carbohydrates is a challenging problem, said Miller. Carbohydrates look a lot like bulk solvent, and are more complex than other biopolymers because they have a lot of branching points. Despite these problems Miller and his University of Rochester co-workers succeeded in designing a molecule, called TW545, that recognises lipid A.

    Miller describes TW545 as a 'stepping stone' towards new strategies for molecular recognition of carbohydrates. He is particularly interested in using carbohydrate-binding molecules for diagnostic purposes. Many proteins relevant to human health contain carbohydrate groups, said Miller, so molecules that recognise these could be put to good medical use.

Recent Publications

    1. Naj AC
    2. Jun G
    3. Reitz C
    4. Kunkle BW
    5. Perry W
    6. Park YS
    7. Beecham GW
    8. Rajbhandary RA
    9. Hamilton-Nelson KL
    10. Wang LS
    11. Kauwe JS
    12. Huentelman MJ
    13. Myers AJ
    14. Bird TD
    15. Boeve BF
    16. Baldwin CT
    17. Jarvik GP
    18. Crane PK
    19. Rogaeva E
    20. Barmada MM
    21. Demirci FY
    22. Cruchaga C
    23. Kramer PL
    24. Ertekin-Taner N
    25. Hardy J
    26. Graff-Radford NR
    27. Green RC
    28. Larson EB
    29. St George-Hyslop PH
    30. Buxbaum JD
    31. Evans DA
    32. Schneider JA
    33. Lunetta KL
    34. Kamboh MI
    35. Saykin AJ
    36. Reiman EM
    37. De Jager PL
    38. Bennett DA
    39. Morris JC
    40. Montine TJ
    41. Goate AM
    42. Blacker D
    43. Tsuang DW
    44. Hakonarson H
    45. Kukull WA
    46. Foroud TM
    47. Martin ER
    48. Haines JL
    49. Mayeux RP
    50. Farrer LA
    51. Schellenberg GD
    52. Pericak-Vance MA
    53. Alzheimer Disease Genetics Consortium
    54. Albert MS
    55. Albin RL
    56. Apostolova LG
    57. Arnold SE
    58. Barber R
    59. Barnes LL
    60. Beach TG
    61. Becker JT
    62. Beekly D
    63. Bigio EH
    64. Bowen JD
    65. Boxer A
    66. Burke JR
    67. Cairns NJ
    68. Cantwell LB
    69. Cao C
    70. Carlson CS
    71. Carney RM
    72. Carrasquillo MM
    73. Carroll SL
    74. Chui HC
    75. Clark DG
    76. Corneveaux J
    77. Cribbs DH
    78. Crocco EA
    79. DeCarli C
    80. DeKosky ST
    81. Dick M
    82. Dickson DW
    83. Duara R
    84. Faber KM
    85. Fallon KB
    86. Farlow MR
    87. Ferris S
    88. Frosch MP
    89. Galasko DR
    90. Ganguli M
    91. Gearing M
    92. Geschwind DH
    93. Ghetti B
    94. Gilbert JR
    95. Glass JD
    96. Growdon JH
    97. Hamilton RL
    98. Harrell LE
    99. Head E
    100. Honig LS
    101. Hulette CM
    102. Hyman BT
    103. Jicha GA
    104. Jin LW
    105. Karydas A
    106. Kaye JA
    107. Kim R
    108. Koo EH
    109. Kowall NW
    110. Kramer JH
    111. LaFerla FM
    112. Lah JJ
    113. Leverenz JB
    114. Levey AI
    115. Li G
    116. Lieberman AP
    117. Lin CF
    118. Lopez OL
    119. Lyketsos CG
    120. Mack WJ
    121. Martiniuk F
    122. Mash DC
    123. Masliah E
    124. McCormick WC
    125. McCurry SM
    126. McDavid AN
    127. McKee AC
    128. Mesulam M
    129. Miller BL
    130. Miller CA
    131. Miller JW
    132. Murrell JR
    133. Olichney JM
    134. Pankratz VS
    135. Parisi JE
    136. Paulson HL
    137. Peskind E
    138. Petersen RC
    139. Pierce A
    140. Poon WW
    141. Potter H
    142. Quinn JF
    143. Raj A
    144. Raskind M
    145. Reisberg B
    146. Ringman JM
    147. Roberson ED
    148. Rosen HJ
    149. Rosenberg RN
    150. Sano M
    151. Schneider LS
    152. Seeley WW
    153. Smith AG
    154. Sonnen JA
    155. Spina S
    156. Stern RA
    157. Tanzi RE
    158. Thornton-Wells TA
    159. Trojanowski JQ
    160. Troncoso JC
    161. Valladares O
    162. Van Deerlin VM
    163. Van Eldik LJ
    164. Vardarajan BN
    165. Vinters HV
    166. Vonsattel JP
    167. Weintraub S
    168. Welsh-Bohmer KA
    169. Williamson J
    170. Wishnek S
    171. Woltjer RL
    172. Wright CB
    173. Younkin SG
    174. Yu CE
    175. Yu L
    (2014 Nov 01). Effects of multiple genetic Loci on age at onset in late-onset Alzheimer disease: a genome-wide association study. JAMA Neurol. 71, 1394-404.
    1. Kapogiannis D
    2. Boxer A
    3. Schwartz JB
    4. Abner EL
    5. Biragyn A
    6. Masharani U
    7. Frassetto L
    8. Petersen RC
    9. Miller BL
    10. Goetzl EJ
    (2014 Oct 23). Dysfunctionally phosphorylated type 1 insulin receptor substrate in neural-derived blood exosomes of preclinical Alzheimer's disease. FASEB J. In press.
    1. Le NT
    2. Takei Y
    3. Izawa-Ishizawa Y
    4. Heo KS
    5. Lee H
    6. Smrcka AV
    7. Miller BL
    8. Ko KA
    9. Ture S
    10. Morrell C
    11. Fujiwara K
    12. Akaike M
    13. Abe J
    (2014 Oct 01). Identification of activators of ERK5 transcriptional activity by high-throughput screening and the role of endothelial ERK5 in vasoprotective effects induced by statins and antimalarial agents. J Immunol. 193, 3803-15.