Honors & News
August 8, 2014
Jim Baker & Ben Miller Work to Develop Small Optical Biosensors to Detect Individual Viruses or Virus Particles.
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 difficultto 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
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
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 posteraward 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 talks about how we apply
Playto our exploration of human health.
November 1, 2010
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 NanoLanternand 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
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
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.
- 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. In press. (2014 Sep 03).
- Identification of preclinical Alzheimer's disease by a profile of pathogenic proteins in neurally derived blood exosomes: A case-control study. Alzheimers Dement. In press. (2014 Aug 14).
- Frontotemporal dementia and its subtypes: a genome-wide association study. Lancet Neurol. 13, 686-99. (2014 Jul 01).