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Marvin J. Miller, PhD

Professor Miller received his B.S. in chemistry from North Dakota State University in 1971, and had the pleasure of participating in undergraduate research with Prof. Socretes Peter Pappas.  He obtained his Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry from Cornell University in 1976 under the direction of G. Marc Loudon, was a National Institutes of Health fellow postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Henry Rapoport at the University of California at Berkeley (1975-77). Currently, he is the he George & Winifred Clark Chair Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. He has spent his entire academic career at Notre Dame, starting as an Assistant Professor in 1977.  He served as chair of the department from 2002-2005.

The primary interests in Professor Miller's laboratory are in synthetic and bioorganic chemistry. Most effort is directed toward the development of new methodology and its incorporation into the syntheses and study of biologically important compounds. Special emphasis is given to asymmetric syntheses and studies of hydroxamic acid containing microbial iron transport agents (siderophores), amino acids, peptides, b-lactam antibiotics and carbocyclic analogs of antifungal and anticancer nucleosides. Much effort has addressed the syntheses of functionalized b-lactams, the core unit of an important class of antibiotics. The result has been the development of an efficient, and generally applicable, synthetic approach based on a biomimetic N-C4 closure. This process and subsequent chemistry has facilitated the synthesis of several novel antibiotics and b-lactamase inhibitors. The chemical versatility of the methods indicates that a variety of new b-lactams may be synthesized for studying important structure-activity relationships. Studies of acylnitroso cycloadditions by oxidation of hydroxamic acids led to the development of new methods for the asymmetric syntheses of a variety of biologically interesting compounds. Longstanding efforts have been directed toward the syntheses and study of siderophore-antibiotic conjugates (sideromycins) in a program designed to develop iron transport-mediated drug delivery agents, including those with potential microbe-triggered release processes.

Professor Miller has directly mentored 80 graduate students and more than 70 postdoctoral fellows and research associates.  His group has collaborated with interdisciplinary research groups around the world, with notable interactions through sabbatical opportunities in Australia, Germany and New Zealand. The combined studies have produced more than 300 scientific publications, numerous patents and presentations at hundreds of scientific meetings and invited lectureships. Research in the Miller group has been consistently supported by the NIH and several industrial grants.  Dr. Miller has served on numerous, editorial boards, including Organic Syntheses and review panels and advisory boards..  He is an active consultant for a number of biotechnology and major pharmaceutical companies, having served 37 continuous years as a consultant at Eli Lilly and Co.  He is the co-founder of PracticaChem, LLC that subsequently merged with Hsiri Therapeutics, LLC which he co-founded with Notre Dame alumni to develop technologies discovered in his laboratories.

Major support throughout Prof. Miller’s life has been provided by his wife, Patty.  They met while undergraduates at North Dakota State University. They are the proud parents of four grown children, Chris, Katie, Joe and Carl, who, with their wonderful spouses have produced 10 grandchildren as of July, 2016.

ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry

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