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Richard Kermit Miller, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Appointment: (585) 275-3638

Office: (585) 275-2520

Fax: (585) 646-6886

Research Labs

Faculty Appointments


Dr. Miller is Director of MotherToBaby UR Medicine (formerly known as the Perinatal Environmental and Drug Consultation Service) a Teratogen Information Service serving New Jersey, New York and Indiana) from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. This service was begun in 1987 and provides expertise concerning exposures during pregnancy or before pregnancy to environmental, occupational and therapeutic exposures to the women and/or family.

In 2015, Dr. Miller has co-edited the 3rd edition of "Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation - Treatment Options and Risk Assessment".

Since 2007, Dr. Miller has been Co-Director of the New York State Center of Excellence in Children's Environmental Health for the 15 county Finger Lakes Region of New York State.

Dr. Miller provides these services to health care providers and families by telephone or by appointment. Please call 585 275 3638.

He has been Scientific Director of the NIH sponsored Women's Reproductive Health Research Scholars Program for training Obstetrician/Gynecologists as Clinical Scientists.

Dr. Miller is a member of the Scientific Board of TERIS as well as Dysmorphologist and Scientific Board Member for the US Ribavirin Pregnancy Registry, Belimumab Pregnancy Registry and MotHER Pregnancy Registry. He is also Co-Chair of the Perinatal LifeStages Committee, Co-Chair of the BioSpecimen Utilization Committee and Member of the Steering Committee for the NIH ECHO (Environmental Influences on Children's Health Outcome) Study of 50,000 children.

Professional Background

Dr. Miller received his undergraduate in Biology and graduate training in Pharmacology/Toxicology /Teratology at Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School with Prs WO Berndt, G Mudge, V Ferm and W Layton . He also did post graduate training at Jefferson Medical College with Prs RL Brent and T Koszalka in Developmental Biology /Teratology. In 1974, he joined the Departments of Obs/Gyn at the University of Rochester under Pr HA Thiede and of Pharm/Toxicol under Pr L Lasagna as an Assistant Professor. He is currently Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, of Environmental Medicine (Toxicology) and of Pathology and Clinical Laboratory Medicine.

During this time, he has been involved with the leadership of the NIEHS Environmental Health Sciences Ctr, as well as Associate Chair for Research in Obstetrics and Gynecology. In 1987, he began the Perinatal Environmental and Drug Consultation Service (PEDECS) (now known as MotherToBaby UR Medicine) in Obs/Gyn and is its Director. This service provides advice concerning exposures during pregnancy or before pregnancy to environmental, occupational and therapeutic exposures to the women and/or famiies. He also is co-Director of the New York State Ctr of Excellence in Children's Environmental Health at the U of Rochester (Finger Lakes Children's Environmental Health Center.

Dr. Miller is Past President of the Teratology Society and has been active with Natl and Intl concerns involving vitamins and herbals as well as environmental exposures during pregnancy.

He is actively involved with OTIS, Organization of Teratology Information Specialists, with their Committees on Occupational Exposures and on Research. He is currently Chair of the International Research Consortium for OTIS and ENTIS, and recently was the Chair of the Research Funding Committee for the Society of Toxicology. He has been Scientific Director of the NIH sponsored Women's Reproductive Health Research Scholars Program for training Obs/ Gyns as Clinical Scientists at the U of Rochester from 1999-2010.

Dr. Miller has edited the 3rd ed. of "Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation - Treatment Options and Risk Assessment".

Dr. Miller is a member of the Scientific Board of TERIS as well as a Dysmorphologist and Scientific Board Member for the US Ribavirin Pregnancy Registry and the Genentech MoTHER Pregnancy Registry.

He has been involved with a number of research programs with the National Toxicology Program (Scientific Board), the FDA, NIH, Merck, Roche, Centecor, Eastman Kodak, Johnson and Johnson and other partners. He has trained more than 25 fellows and graduate students, who are providing leadership in Academia, Government and Industry.

His funding does and has come from NICHHD, NIAID, NIAAA, NCI, NIEHS, FDA, NCS, US Israel Binational Fdn, Goode Fdn and industry partners. He was the recipient of the Bock Prize for Developmental Biology and Child Health in 2011 and received the Distinguished Service Award from the Teratology Society in 2013.

For 2014-16, he has spoken or is speaking at

• Chair and Speaker: Teratology Society Symposium – Advances in Placental Research June 28, 2016
Title: Predicting Fetal and Newborn Health: The Role of the Placenta

• Education Lecturer, Teratology Society Education Course, Montreal, Canada 2015.
Title: How to Evaluate Workplace, Environmental and Home Exposure: Their Risks during Pregnancy

• Alumni Grand Rounds Speaker, Obstetrics/Gynecology Grand Rounds, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York 2014.

• Symposium Speaker, European Network of Teratology Information Services (ENTIS) and the Organization of Teratology Information Services (OTIS) Joint Meeting II - Toronto, Canada, 2014.

• Plenary Speaker, International Federation of Placenta Association 2014 Meeting, Paris, France, 2014.

• Symposium Speaker, Teratology Society, Bellevue, Washington, 2014


Perinatal Toxicology and Placentology are the foci of this laboratory. How viruses, metals (cadmium, arsenic, lead and mercury), anti-HIV therapy, and vitamins (A, B12, C and E), nanoparticles, and hyperthermia affect normal development of the embryo/ fetus are being investigated. In particular, the role of the placenta as the anchor, controller, and conduit during pregnancy as well as a site for toxic action is examined. NIH Clinical investigations both in Rochester and Beijing China are being conducted to determine the role of environmental exposures including air pollution and the role of the placenta in influencing fetal growth and development.

Placental Toxicology and Pathology.

Cadmium can be a placental toxin in rodents by producing fetal death and placental necrosis. Using an in vitro dually perfused human placenta model, cadmium also produced necrosis. Pharmacokinetic studies in both rodent and human studies demonstrated the role of the placenta as a site for control of passage and intoxication. The response of the cell to cadmium toxicity may be regulated by metallothionein and calmodulin. Different isoforms of metallothionein are being identified via cDNA isolation and in situ hybridization for determination of metallothionein distribution and indelibility in placentae from women exposed during pregnancy to environmental metals (gadolinium, cadmium, arsenic, lead and mercury). Currently gene environment interactions during development are being pursued in an animal model of diabetes mellitus.

Placental Pathology and the relationship to in utero development and adult disease is being evaluated. Focus is on specific evaluations of shape, size and vascular structure of the placenta and an understanding of the underlying pathology. These investigations have been pursued as part of an NIH National Children's Study Formative Research Study

Implantation Biology.

Pregnancy loss due to implantation failures is being examined using an in vitro model consisting of both human trophoblast and endometrium to study the biology of attachment and invasion as well as the influence of hormones, xenobiotics and disease (antiphospholipid syndrome, pre-eclampsia). Additional investigations are examining the effects of plasticizers - phthalates and bisphenol A on human placental function to understand the relationship between plasticizer exposures and miscarriages.

Vertical transmission of HIV.

Why do only 25-40% of the babies of HIV positive mothers become infected? Why not all the babies? What controls infectivity of the fetus in utero? These are questions being explored in patients who are pregnant and HIV positive. In vitro models of human placenta are used to study how the placenta may modulate HIV infection in utero. Certain strains of HIV-1 can selectively infect the human placenta, while others do not. Molecular techniques are being used - Real Time - PCR, ISPCR - to determine which cells are being infected. With these models we can test how anti-HIV therapies may best prevent the vertical transmission of HIV as well as produce toxicity in the human placenta.

Clinical Investigations:

Developing noninvasive measures of human placental assessment to predict fetal and childhood disease and compromise using Ultrasound and Magnetic Resonance Elastography.

Preeclampsia is a major contributor to adverse pregnancy outcomes for both mother and baby. A major difficulty is diagnosing the illness before the conditions are too severe. Previous studies have demonstrated that placental growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor levels are reduced in women who will develop severe preeclampsia. Current investigations are underway examining the clinical possibilities of early diagnosis of preeclampsia in hopes that treatment modalities will then be possible to prevent the disease.



AB | Dartmouth College

PhD | Dartmouth Medical School
Pharmacology and Toxicology

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

10/1972 - 07/1974
NIH/Smith Kline French - Post Doctoral Fellow in Developmental Biology- Teratology, Jefferson Medical College, Department of Pediatrics, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mentors: Robert L. Brent, MD, PhD and Thomas R. Koszalka, PhD


Agnish Fellowship for Outstanding Contributions to Teratology Education
Sponsor: Teratology Society

Senior International Award in Placentology
Sponsor: International Federation of Placenta Associations
Location: Portland, Oregon

Plank Owner Award - National Children's Study
Sponsor: NIH- US Public Health Service
Location: Bethesda, Maryland

Teratology Society Distinguished Service Award
Sponsor: Teratology Society

Bock Prize for Developmental Biology and Child Health
Sponsor: Nemours Foundation
Location: Wilmington, Delaware

Graduate Student Society Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching
Sponsor: University of Rochester

1999 - Present
Fellow, Academy of Toxicological Sciences
Sponsor: Academy of Toxicological Sciences

200th Anniversary - Alumnus Recognition Portrait/Profile
Sponsor: Dartmouth Medical School

1991 - 1992
President, Teratology Society

1988 - Present
Scientific Review Board, NIH TERIS

1988 - 1992
Member, Board of Scientific Counselors, US National Toxicology Program

Fulbright Distinguished Professorship
Sponsor: NIH
Location: Belgrade, Yugoslavia

1983 - 2001
Editor, Trophoblast Research

1983 - 1983
NIH/Fogarty Senior International Fellow
Location: Universite de Paris VI

Who's Who in the East, USA

Who's Who in the East, USA

Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare, USA

Who's Who in the World, USA

Fellow, American College of Forensic Medicine

Who's Who in American Education, USA

Who's Who in Men and Women of Science, USA

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Journal Articles

Mikelson CK, Troisi J, LaLonde A, Symes SJK, Thurston SW, DiRe LM, David Adair C, Miller RK, Richards SM. "Placental concentrations of essential, toxic, and understudied metals and relationships with birth outcomes in Chattanooga, TN." Environmental research.. 2019 Jan 0; 168:118-129. Epub 2018 Sep 07.

Zang, J; Adcock, IM; Bai, Z; Chung, KF; Duan, X; Fang, Z; Gong, J; Li, F; Miller, RK; Qiu, X; Rich, D; Wang, Y; Xu, D; Zhang, Y; Zhu, T. "Health effects of air pollution: what we need to know and do in the next decade." J Thoracic Disease. 2019; 11: 1727-1739.

Galvez, M.; Collins, G.; Amler, RW; Dozor, A.; Kaplan-Liss, E.; Forman, J.; Laraque-Arena, D; Lawrence, R.; Miller, RK; Miller,K.; Sheffield, K.; Zajac, L.; Landrigan, PJ. "Building New York State Centers of Excellence in Children's Environmental Health: A Model in a Time of Uncertainty". American J Public Health. 2018; .

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: Does the Placenta Protect Against Insult or Is It a Target?
Book Title: Teratology Primer
Author List: Miller, RK
Edited By: Hales, B, Scialli, A and Tassinari, M
Published By: Teratology Society 2018

Book Title: Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation: Treatment Options and Risk Assessment 3rd edition
Author List: C Schaefer, P Peters, RK Miller, eds.
Published By: Academic Press 2015 in San Diego

Chapter Title: General commentary on drug therapy and drug risks in pregnancy
Book Title: Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation: Treatment Options and Risk Assessment 3rd edition
Author List: P Peters, RK Miller and Ch Schaefer
Edited By: Ch Schaefer, P Peters, RK Miller
Published By: Academic Press 2015 in San Diego