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Gregory M. Miller

Affiliated Faculty,  Chemical Engineering
Associate Professor,  Pharmaceutical Sciences
Associate,  Center for Drug Discovery

Contact

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Office

  • 617.373.6985

Research Focus

addiction sciences, neuropsychiatric disorders

About

My research focuses on the neurobiology, immunology and genetics associated with acute and chronic exposure to drugs of abuse. My goals are to understand how drugs of abuse work in the brain and the body, to create new pharmacological treatment strategies for people who are addicted and motivated to recover from their addiction, and to educate students and the public on the science of addiction. My lab takes an eclectic approach, but the major scientific focus is on the neurochemical mechanisms by which drugs act on the brain and body, and how genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors alter drug responses to predispose or protect an individual from becoming addicted. An exciting avenue of investigation in my lab is our focus on TAAR1, a G protein-coupled receptor that is important in regulating the dopamine system, reward behaviors and the action of amphetamine-like drugs of abuse. Our lab cloned the TAAR1 receptor from primate brain and pharmacologically characterized its action. We found that upon activation, TAAR1 drives the intracellular phosphorylation cascades which trigger changes in dopamine transporter (DAT) kinetic and internalization functions, leading to changes in extracellular dopamine and consequent behaviors. This is intimately tied to the way drugs of abuse work, as well as the neurochemistry which underlies a spectrum of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Newly-identified compounds that specifically target TAAR1 are under investigation as potential central (dopamine) and peripheral (immune) modulators as well as therapeutic treatments for addiction that target both the brain and the immune system.

Education

  • B.A. Psychology, Ithaca College, NY, 1986
  • M.A. Psychology-Neuropsychology, Queens College, City University of, New York, 1991
  • Ph.D. Biomedical Sciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, City University of New York, 1993

Professional Affiliations

  • College on Problems of Drug Dependence, Fellow

Research Focus

addiction sciences, neuropsychiatric disorders

Selected Publications

  • D.K. Grandy, G.M. Miller, J.X. Li, “TAARgeting Addiction” – The Alamo Bears Witness to Another Revolution: An Overview of the Plenary Symposium of the 2015 Behavior, Biology and Chemistry Conference, Drug and Alchohol Dependence, 159, 2016, 9-16
  • L.J. Lynch, K.A. Sullivan, E.J. Vallender, J.K. Rowlett, D.M. Platt, G.M Miller, Trace Aamine Associated Receptor 1 Modulates Behavioral Effects of Ethanol, Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, 7, 2013, 117-126
  • M.W. Panas, Z. Xie, H.N. Panas, M.C. Hoener, E.J. Vallender,  G.M. Miller, Trace Amine Associated Receptor 1 Signaling in Activated Lymphocytes, Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, 7(4), 2012, 866-876
  • Z. Xie, G.M. Miller, A Receptor Mechanism for Methamphetamine Action in Dopamine Transporter Regulation in Brain, Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 330(1), 2009, 316-325
  • Z. Xie, G.M. Miller, Beta-phenylethylamine Alters Monoamine Transporter Function via Trace Amine Associated Receptor 1: Implication for Modulatory Roles of Trace Amines in Brain, Jounral of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 325(2), 2008, 617-628