After more than three decades at Case Western Reserve, renowned neuroscientist and university Vice President for Research and Technology Management Robert H. “Bob” Miller is moving to George Washington University to lead its efforts in medical and health sciences research.
“I am excited about this opportunity to enhance and expand existing research and also work across the university to grow interdisciplinary collaborations,” said Miller, who will become senior associate dean for research at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences effective June 1. “I am grateful to all of the mentors and colleagues who made my time on this campus so intellectually rewarding. Many of them became dear friends, and I will miss them, and this place, very much.”
As part of the transition, Miller also will join the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences faculty. A prolific scientist perhaps best known for breakthroughs related to multiple sclerosis, he plans to continue this research in Washington, D.C., and will gradually move his laboratory operations there.
A decade ago, Miller was among five experts the Myelin Repair Foundation tapped for an innovative approach to scientific partnership designed to speed the path of relief from idea to available therapeutics. More recently, he has cited the foundation’s support as critical to essential discoveries that in 2012 led to a Phase I clinical trial involving mesenchymal stem cells. Miller emphasized that he will continue this work.
“The impact of the foundation’s model and financial resources cannot be overstated,” Miller said. “Not only will it have a direct and positive impact on patients, but it is establishing a model from which we all can learn.”
Miller has served as the university’s research leader since 2011, after spending the previous five years as the medical school’s vice dean for research. In both roles, Miller championed strategic investments and team-based research; as vice president, he played a key role in supporting the university’s interdisciplinary alliances, strengthened relations with industry and encouraged less rigid approaches to cooperative agreements involving technology transfer. Miller also launched the Distinguished Research Award for faculty, restored the annual Research Showcase event, and sought additional opportunities for undergraduates to pursue research.
“Bob’s depth of experience as a researcher and administrator allowed him to make immense contributions to every aspect of our research and commercialization enterprises,” Provost and Executive Vice President W.A. “Bud” Baeslack III said. “He improved both areas significantly, and the influence of his efforts will continue long after his departure. We deeply appreciate his efforts on behalf of Case Western Reserve.”
During his time on campus, Miller has served as director of the Center for Translational Neurosciences, professor in the Department of Neurosciences, and the Allen C. Holmes Professor of Neurological Diseases at Case Western Reserve University. He also held secondary appointments in the departments of physiology and biophysics, pathology, and neurology.
Miller’s honors include the Jacob K. Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Charles Judson Herrick Award from the American Association of Anatomists and the John S. Diekhoff Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching at Case Western Reserve. Late last year, Miller also was named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
Miller’s move to the East Coast follows the 2012 departure of his wife, Alison Hall, also a faculty member in neurosciences at Case Western Reserve, to a leadership position at the NIH. After spending eight years leading graduate education at the medical school, she now serves as acting director of the NIH’s Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity.
University leaders will announce its plans for filling Miller’s duties shortly; watch The Daily for additional updates.