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Miller Lab

Laurence J. Miller, M.D.
Co-director HEALth Program linking Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University efforts related to the metabolic syndrome, with its components including obesity, diabetes, and vascular disease
Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry/Molecular Biology at Mayo Clinic
Joint appointment Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Mayo Clinic
Adjunct appointment Department of Biomedical Informatics at Arizona state University
Clinical gastroenterologist and pancreatologist in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic Arizona

G protein-coupled receptors and drug development

Dr. Miller's longstanding research focus has been in the area of G protein-coupled gastrointestinal hormone receptor structure, function and regulation. This has focused on cholecystokinin (CCK)-gastrin and secretin-vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP)-glucagon-like peptide families of peptides and receptors. These receptors are important for nutritional homeostasis, digestion, metabolism and cell growth.

Dr. Miller's most unique contributions to this area have been in applying photochemistry and molecular pharmacological techniques to probe the molecular basis of drug action and the three-dimensional structure of ligand-receptor complexes. This has substantial implications for the development of receptor-active drugs that possess unique selectivities and spectra of biological activities. This has provided unique opportunities to impact obesity, diabetes, and various malignant tumors of the pancreas and colon.

Dr. Miller is also an expert in areas of receptor signaling and receptor regulation by biochemical and cellular mechanisms. These often differ in distinct types of cells, as well as in pathological states versus healthy cells. Characterization of these processes has provided still other potential opportunities for therapeutic interventions in these diseases.

This work also has major implications for the development of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, selective imaging agents and therapeutic targeting.

 Significance to patient care

G protein-coupled receptors are the largest group of cell surface receptors, as they are present on virtually every excitable cell in the body. As such, they also represent the predominant target for existing approved drugs.

Dr. Miller's work is key for understanding how drugs work, as it provides molecular insights that are useful for the development of new drugs that are better, safer and more effective. These are relevant to a broad variety of diseases, many of which are quite common and have major impact.

Lab Members

Research Faculty
Maoqing Dong, M.D., Ph.D.
Kaleeckal Harikumar, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellows
Aditya Desai, Ph.D.

Technical Staff
Mary Lou Augustine, B.S.
Alicja M. Ball, B.S.