Jason M. Miller, MD, PhD
Kellogg Eye Center
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Project Title: mTor-Independent Activation as a Therapeutic for Lipid-Rich Pathology in Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Dr. Miller completed his undergraduate degree in biology at Stanford University, where he was active in development of microsurgical devices with the Department of Ophthalmology. He completed his MD and PhD graduate work at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he developed primary neuronal culture models of Huntington’s disease under the mentorship of Steve Finkbeiner at the UCSF-affiliated Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease. An internal medicine internship at Kaiser Permanente Oakland followed. Seeking to combine his post-graduate medical and scientific training, Dr. Miller became the inaugural awardee for the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center’s Pre-Residency Research Fellowship. This fellowship allows for establishment of an independent research program prior to joining the ophthalmology residency. After completing this fellowship in 2016, he joined the residency program in July that year.
Dr. Miller’s research program, which seeks to establish primary retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) culture models of dry AMD as a platform for testing therapeutic interventions, continues during residency through the help of lab members he trained during the fellowship.
As the IRRF Loris and David Rich, MD Postdoctoral Scholar, Dr. Miller will work to identify small molecule activators of autophagy in RPE that do not directly target the mTOR pathway and are already FDA-approved compounds or that interact with protein targets actively under pharmacologic development.