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Robert Miller Robert Miller
Vivian Gill Distinguished Research Professor
Vice Dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology

Office Phone: 202-994-6988
Email: Email
Department: Anatomy and Cell Biology


Dr. Robert Miller is a neuroscientist, researcher and administrator in the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He is a professor in the Department of Anatomy and Regenerative Biology and was installed as the university's Vivian Gill Distinguished Research Professor in 2015.

Prior to joining GW in 2014, Dr. Miller served as the vice president for research at Case Western Reserve University where he was also the director of the Center for Translational Neurosciences, professor in the department of neurosciences and the Allen C. Holmes Professor of Neurological Diseases.

Dr. Miller’s awards and honors include the Outstanding Faculty Award at Case Western Reserve University, the Jacob Javits Neuroscience Award, the John S. Diekhoff Award for Excellence in Graduate Training and the Charles Judson Herrick Award from the American Association of Anatomists. He is also a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the International Society for Neurochemistry and other national and international societies. Dr. Miller received a bachelor’s of science in zoology and a Ph.D. from the department of zoology at University College London.

Dr. Miller has published more than 200 papers in the area of neural development and disease with a particular interest in the brain and spinal cord


Current Research Themes

Neural Development/Stem Cells (Longstanding research area)
  • Understand cellular and molecular control of nervous system glial specification
  • Identify molecules that regulate glial cell proliferation and migration. 
Myelin Repair (Myelin Repair Foundation, Athersys, BiogenIdec)
  • Utilize adult neural progenitor cells to enhance repair
  • Characterize human neural progenitor cells 
Brain tumor Biology (Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and Neurosurgery Dept at University Hospitals and the Hermelin Brain Tumor Center at Henry Ford Hospital)
  • Characterize cellular origins of neural tumors
  • Identify novel therapeutic targets to control cell proliferation, death and migration of neural cells
Spinal Cord Injury (Neurosurgery Dept. University Hospitals and CWRU Stem Cell Center)
  • Utilize molecules important in glial development to facilitate spinal cord repair
  • Develop neural and non-neural stem cell approaches to modulate spinal cord injury responses.


Science Research Council Grant (1977-80)
Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (1989-91)
Charles Judson Herrick Award, American Association of Anatomists (1989)
John S. Diekhoff Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching (1994)
Jacob Javits Neuroscience Award (2001)
Outstanding Faculty Award CWRU School of Medicine (2003)
Myelin Repair Foundation President’s Award (2012)
National Academy of Inventors Fellow (2013)


Robinson AP, Zhang JZ, Titus HE, Karl M, Merzliakov M, Dorfman AR, Karlik S, Stewart MG, Watt RK, Facer BD, Facer JD, Christian ND, Ho KS, Hotchkin MT, Mortenson MG, Miller RH, Miller SD. Nanocatalytic activity of clean-surfaced, faceted nanocrystalline gold enhances remyelination in animal models of multiple sclerosis. Scientific Reports. 2020 Feb 11;10(1):1936. PMID: 32041968.

Tognatta R, Karl MT, Fyffe-Maricich SL, Popratiloff A, Garrison ED, Schenck JK, Abu-Rub M, Miller RH. Astrocytes are required for oligodendrocyte survival and maintenance of myelin compaction and integrity. Front Cell Neurosci. 2020 Apr 2;14:74. PMID: 32300294

Pajoohesh-Ganji A, Karl M, Garrison E, Osei-Bonsu NA, Clarkson-Paredes C, Ahn J, Miller RH. Developmental ablation of mature oligodendrocytes exacerbates adult CNS demyelination. Brain, Behavior, & Immunity – Health. 2020 August;7.

Titus HE, Robinson AP, Xu H, Patel PA, Fanini D, Karl MT, Garrison E, Rose IVL, Liddelow SA, Miller RH, Popko B, Miller SD. Repurposing the Cardiac Glycoside Digoxin to Stimulate Myelin Repair in Chemically-Induced and Immune-Mediated Mouse Models of Multiple Sclerosis. Neurobiology of Disease. 2020 June. (Accepted).

Sun L, Telles E, Karl MT, Cheng F, Luetteke N, Sotomayor EM, Miller RH, Seto E. Loss of HDAC11 ameliorates clinical symptoms in a multiple sclerosis mouse model. Life Science Alliance. 2018, Sep 24;1(5). PMID: 30456376.

Miller RH. Calcium control of myelin sheath growth. Nature Neuroscience. 2018 Jan;21(1):2-3. PMID: 29269759

Sargent A, Shano G, Karl M, Garrison E, Miller C, Miller RH. Transcriptional profiling of mesenchymal stem cells identifies distinct neuroimmune pathways altered by CNS disease. Int’l J of Stem Cells. 2018 May 30;11(1):48-60. PMID: 29699382

Madhaven M, Nevin ZS, Shick HE, Garrison E, Clarkson-Paredes C, Karl MT, Clayton BL, Factor DC, Allan KC, Barbar L, Jain T, Douvaras P, Fossati V, Miller RH, Tesar PJ. Induction of myelinating oligodendrocytes in human cortical spheroids. Nature Methods. 2018 Sep;15(9). PMID: 30046099

Hubler Z, Allimuthu D, Bederman I, Elitt MS, Madhavan M, Allan KC, Schick EH, Garrison E, Karl MT, Factor DC, Nevin ZS, Sax JL, Thompson MA, Fedorov Y, Jin J, Wilson WK, Giera M, Bracher F, Miller RH, Tesar PJ, Adams DJ. Accumulation of 8,9-unsaturated sterols drives oligodendrocyte formation and remyelination. Nature. 2018 Aug;560(7718). PMID: 30046109

Hermann JK, Lin S, Soffer A, Wong C, Srivastava V, Chang J, Sunil S, Sudhakar S, Tomaszewski W, Protasiewicz G, Selkirk SM, Miller RH, Capadona JR. The role of toll-like receptor 2 and 4 innate immunity pathways in intracortical microelectrode-induced neuroinflammation. Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol. 2018 Aug 14;6:113. PMID: 30159311

Miller RH. Neurobiology: A change of fate for nerve repair. Nature. 2017 Nov 1;551(7678):41-42. PMID: 29094703

Industry Relationships and Collaborations

This faculty member (or a member of their immediate family) has reported a financial interest with the health care related companies listed below. These relations have been reported to the University and, when appropriate, management plans are in place to address potential conflicts.

  • Convelo