Faculty Research Page
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology*
*and of Chemistry
Research in the Miller lab operates at the interface of molecular and cell biology, synthetic chemistry, and neuroscience. We seek to exploit expertise in synthetic chemistry, probe design, imaging, molecular biology, and electrophysiology to create and deploy molecular tools for mapping brain activity. This multi-faceted approach engages a diverse group of researchers from differing scientific backgrounds, both expanding our understanding of basic chemical and biological processes and using these discoveries to investigate the brain.
We seek to address how the brain transmits information from cell to cell and develop tools to track neuronal activity with high spatial and temporal resolution. This approach to studying neuronal communication and information flux in the brain is two-pronged. First, we will develop activity-dependent neuronal tracer dyes for following signal transduction through neural circuits and within cells. Secondly, we will investigate new synthetic and genetically encoded indicators for optically monitoring voltage changes in neurons. Throughout, these approaches will be integrated into systems ranging from primary cell culture to tissue slices to whole animals in order to not only show-case the utility of our new tools, but also to explore new dimensions of neuronal communication and information transfer.
Miller, E. W.; Lin, J. Y.; Frady, E. P.; Steinbach, P. A.; Kristan, W. B.; Tsien, R. Y., Optically monitoring voltage in neurons by photo-induced electron transfer through molecular wires. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2012, 109 (6), 2114-2119. [pdf] [html]
Dodani, S. C.; Domaille, D. W.; Nam, C. I.; Miller, E. W.; Finney, L. A.; Vogt, S.; Chang, C. J., Calcium-dependent copper redistributions in neuronal cells revealed by a fluorescent copper sensor and X-ray fluorescence microscopy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2011, 108 (15), 5980-5. [pdf] [html]
Miller, E. W.; Taulet, N.; Onak, C. S.; New, E. J.; Lanselle, J. K.; Smelick, G. S.; Chang, C. J., Light-Activated Regulation of Cofilin Dynamics Using a Photocaged Hydrogen Peroxide Generator. J Am Chem Soc 2010. [pdf] [html]
Miller, E. W.; Dickinson, B. C.; Chang, C. J., Aquaporin-3 mediates hydrogen peroxide uptake to regulate downstream intracellular signaling. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2010, 107 (36), 15681-6. [pdf] [html]
Bao, L.; Avshalumov, M. V.; Patel, J. C.; Lee, C. R.; Miller, E. W.; Chang, C. J.; Rice, M. E., Mitochondria are the source of hydrogen peroxide for dynamic brain-cell signaling. J Neurosci 2009, 29 (28), 9002-10. [pdf] [html]
Photo credit: Mark Joseph Studios
Last Updated 2014-08-29