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Arthur Miller, PhD

Arthur Miller, PhD  

Arthur Miller's early thoughts of a career as a minister led him to two years at Concordia, a small college in Oakland, California, where he soon realized he wanted to change direction and move into science. Miller transferred to San Jose State to earn an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry, and was intrigued by muscle physiology. He was accepted into the Ph.D. program at UCLA in 1965.

During Art’s Ph.D. program, he focused on brain research under his mentor, Dr. Jennifer Buchwald. His thesis was on the brain stem control of laryngeal reflexes, and he did substantial animal research. He and his wife, Marilyn, then went to the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she continued teaching, and he did further research in physiology that focused more on Sudden Infant Death and muscle function. 

Seeking a change, in 1975 Miller's family moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area to be near family. Art was fortunate enough to work with the UCSF team in craniofacial anomalies, including Dr. Egil Harvold and Dr. Karin Vargervik, both with their monkey and human studies. He eventually broadened his interaction with a variety of other orthodontists including Ib Nielsen, Rob Quinn, and Bob Issacson. This expanded to ties with the new emerging program in temporomandibular disorders that Dr. Charles McNeill was establishing and led to a long fruitful interaction with Dr. Nielsen and Dr. McNeill. These collaborations expanded as Art became a full time tenured faculty member in the Division of Orthodontics. 

During all these research collaborations, Art met Dr. Koutaro Maki from Showa University, Tokyo. Dr. Maki is an orthodontist and a researcher interested in craniofacial development and bone, and Art’s work is on muscle function. They developed a long-term collaboration and close friendship, and have worked in this area of research for several years, using medical CT to evaluate bone mineralization, and interacting with experts in the Robotic Laboratory at Waseda University and the  Tokyo Institute of Technology. 

Art and Koutaro have begun an annual exchange of information facilitated by trips to each school by their orthodontic residents and faculty. Last year, four of our residents and Dr. Huang and Dr. Miller traveled to Showa University to share the research that our orthodontic residents are doing on 3-D cone beam CT data. Dr. Maki brought his students over to UCSF four years ago, and made his second visit with his orthodontic students and faculty this August, 2008 to exchange information with us. This collaboration is moving this research ahead at an accelerated pace. 

Art’s original research at UCLA has continued with collaborations with a variety of researchers at Johns Hopkins University as well as the Medical College of Wisconsin on swallowing and swallowing disorders (dysphagia). Art has been active since the Dysphagia Research Society was first founded and has served on the board and gone through the chairs.

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