Duane D. Miller, PhD

Duane D. Miller, Ph.D.

Van Vleet Professor

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences


The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
227c Johnson Building
847 Monroe Avenue
Memphis, TN 38163
Tel: (901) 448-6026
Fax: (901) 448-6828
Email: Duane D. Miller

 

Education

  • PhD Institution: University of Washington, Medicinal Chemistry Department

Research Interests

The design, synthesis and characterization of new drug molecules for mechanism based structure-activity relationships is the primary focus of our laboratory. One of the important areas of research is studying new drugs affecting the central and peripheral nervous systems. Our laboratory is very interested in the design of drugs that are used to treat asthma, emphysema and obesity. Other areas of keen interest are drugs used to treat and diagnose prostate cancer and diabetic complications.

We are currently investigating the modification of a molecule called trimetoquinol which is used in Japan. We are attempting to make chemical structural changes in the molecule so that it can be used to activate selectively beta 2-adrenergic receptors found in lung tissue. We are also attempting to make changes that will also convert this same molecule into a beta 3-adrenergic receptor agonist for the treatment of obesity. The latter receptors are found in adipose tissue and upon activation lead to the breakdown of fat. We are also in the process of studying medetomidine, an alpha-adrenergic agonist. We are changing the structure of medetomidine chemically to see if such changes can lead to a better understanding of how this molecule binds to the various subtypes of a- adrenergic receptors.

We are very interested in drugs that could interfere with the craving for cocaine. We are now synthesizing drugs that will block specific glutamate receptors found in the brain and hopefully such new information will help us find an agent that will be useful in treating cocaine addiction.

Drugs that bind to androgen receptors and their relationship to prostate cancer are being studied in our laboratory. A major project is directed toward synthesizing new radiolabeled androgen ligands and we plan to use this technology towards imaging metastatic prostate cancer.

A major enzyme in the development of diabetic complications such as cataracts is thought to be the enzyme aldose reductase. Our laboratory has developed irreversible inhibitors for studying this enzyme.

Representative Publications

  • Yang R, Mondal G, Ness RA, Arnst K, Mundra V, Miller DD, Li W, Mahato RI. Polymer conjugate of a microtubule destabilizer inhibits lung metastatic melanoma. J Control Release. 2017 Mar 10;249:32-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2017.01.028. PubMed PMID: 28130039.
  • Banerjee S, Norman DD, Lee SC, Parrill AL, Pham TC, Baker DL, Tigyi GJ, Miller DD. Highly Potent Non-Carboxylic Acid Autotaxin Inhibitors Reduce Melanoma Metastasis and Chemotherapeutic Resistance of Breast Cancer Stem Cells. J Med Chem. 2017 Feb 23;60(4):1309-1324. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b01270. PubMed PMID: 28112925.
  • Ponnusamy S, Tran QT, Thiyagarajan T, Miller DD, Bridges D, Narayanan R. An estrogen receptor β-selective agonist inhibits non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in preclinical models by regulating bile acid and xenobiotic receptors. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2017 Mar;242(6):606-616. doi: 10.1177/1535370216688569. PubMed PMID: 28092182.
  • Toutounchian JJ, Pagadala J, Miller DD, Baudry J, Park F, Chaum E, Yates CR. Novel Small Molecule JP-153 Targets the Src-FAK-Paxillin Signaling Complex to Inhibit VEGF-Induced Retinal Angiogenesis. Mol Pharmacol. 2017 Jan;91(1):1-13. PubMed PMID: 27913654.
  • Banerjee S, Hwang DJ, Li W, Miller DD. Current Advances of Tubulin Inhibitors in Nanoparticle Drug Delivery and Vascular Disruption/Angiogenesis. Molecules. 2016 Nov 2;21(11). pii: E1468. Review. PubMed PMID: 27827858.
  • Ponnusamy S, Tran QT, Harvey I, Smallwood HS, Thiyagarajan T, Banerjee S, Johnson DL, Dalton JT, Sullivan RD, Miller DD, Bridges D, Narayanan R. Pharmacologic activation of estrogen receptor β increases mitochondrial function, energy expenditure, and brown adipose tissue. FASEB J. 2017 Jan;31(1):266-281. doi: 10.1096/fj.201600787RR. PubMed PMID: 27733447; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5161516.

View more references (pubmed link)