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 8, 2014

    University of Rochester spin-off company Adarza BioSystems raises $6.8 million

    University of Rochester spin-off company Adarza BioSystems has some big news this quarter – $6.8 million dollars big. Benjamin Miller, Professor of Dermatology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Biomedical Engineering, helped found Adarza in 2008. BME graduate students Joe Bucukovski, Mark Lifson, and Rashmi Sriram have also been working with Adarza on research and development.

  • 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. Baker JE
    2. Sriram R
    3. Miller BL
    (2015 Feb 21). Two-dimensional photonic crystals for sensitive microscale chemical and biochemical sensing. Lab Chip. 15, 971-90.
    1. Wang LS
    2. Naj AC
    3. Graham RR
    4. Crane PK
    5. Kunkle BW
    6. Cruchaga C
    7. Murcia JD
    8. Cannon-Albright L
    9. Baldwin CT
    10. Zetterberg H
    11. Blennow K
    12. Kukull WA
    13. Faber KM
    14. Schupf N
    15. Norton MC
    16. Tschanz JT
    17. Munger RG
    18. Corcoran CD
    19. Rogaeva E
    20. Lin CF
    21. Dombroski BA
    22. Cantwell LB
    23. Partch A
    24. Valladares O
    25. Hakonarson H
    26. St George-Hyslop P
    27. Green RC
    28. Goate AM
    29. Foroud TM
    30. Carney RM
    31. Larson EB
    32. Behrens TW
    33. Kauwe JS
    34. Haines JL
    35. Farrer LA
    36. Pericak-Vance MA
    37. Mayeux R
    38. Schellenberg GD
    39. National Institute on Aging–Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease (NIA-LOAD) Family Study
    40. Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium
    41. Albert MS
    42. Albin RL
    43. Apostolova LG
    44. Arnold SE
    45. Barber R
    46. Barmada MM
    47. Barnes LL
    48. Beach TG
    49. Becker JT
    50. Beecham GW
    51. Beekly D
    52. Bennett DA
    53. Bigio EH
    54. Bird TD
    55. Blacker D
    56. Boeve BF
    57. Bowen JD
    58. Boxer A
    59. Burke JR
    60. Buxbaum JD
    61. Cairns NJ
    62. Cao C
    63. Carlson CS
    64. Carroll SL
    65. Chui HC
    66. Clark DG
    67. Cribbs DH
    68. Crocco EA
    69. DeCarli C
    70. DeKosky ST
    71. Demirci FY
    72. Dick M
    73. Dickson DW
    74. Duara R
    75. Ertekin-Taner N
    76. Fallon KB
    77. Farlow MR
    78. Ferris S
    79. Frosch MP
    80. Galasko DR
    81. Ganguli M
    82. Gearing M
    83. Geschwind DH
    84. Ghetti B
    85. Gilbert JR
    86. Glass JD
    87. Graff-Radford NR
    88. Growdon JH
    89. Hamilton RL
    90. Hamilton-Nelson KL
    91. Harrell LE
    92. Head E
    93. Honig LS
    94. Hulette CM
    95. Hyman BT
    96. Jarvik GP
    97. Jicha GA
    98. Jin LW
    99. Jun G
    100. Kamboh MI
    101. Karydas A
    102. Kaye JA
    103. Kim R
    104. Koo EH
    105. Kowall NW
    106. Kramer JH
    107. Kramer P
    108. LaFerla FM
    109. Lah JJ
    110. Leverenz JB
    111. Levey AI
    112. Li G
    113. Lieberman AP
    114. Lopez OL
    115. Lunetta KL
    116. Lyketsos CG
    117. Mack WJ
    118. Marson DC
    119. Martin ER
    120. Martiniuk F
    121. Mash DC
    122. Masliah E
    123. McCormick WC
    124. McCurry SM
    125. McDavid AN
    126. McKee AC
    127. Mesulam MM
    128. Miller BL
    129. Miller CA
    130. Miller JW
    131. Montine TJ
    132. Morris JC
    133. Murrell JR
    134. Olichney JM
    135. Parisi JE
    136. Perry W
    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. Reiman EM
    146. Reisberg B
    147. Reitz C
    148. Ringman JM
    149. Roberson ED
    150. Rosen HJ
    151. Rosenberg RN
    152. Sano M
    153. Saykin AJ
    154. Schneider JA
    155. Schneider LS
    156. Seeley WW
    157. Smith AG
    158. Sonnen JA
    159. Spina S
    160. Stern RA
    161. Tanzi RE
    162. Thornton-Wells TA
    163. Trojanowski JQ
    164. Troncoso JC
    165. Tsuang DW
    166. Van Deerlin VM
    167. Van Eldik LJ
    168. Vardarajan BN
    169. Vinters HV
    170. Vonsattel JP
    171. Weintraub S
    172. Welsh-Bohmer KA
    173. Williamson J
    174. Wishnek S
    175. Woltjer RL
    176. Wright CB
    177. Younkin SG
    178. Yu CE
    179. Yu L
    (2015 Feb 01). Rarity of the Alzheimer Disease-Protective APP A673T Variant in the United States. JAMA Neurol. 72, 209-16.
    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
    (2015 Feb 01). Dysfunctionally phosphorylated type 1 insulin receptor substrate in neural-derived blood exosomes of preclinical Alzheimer's disease. FASEB J. 29, 589-96.