Duane D. Miller, Ph.D.

Duane D. Miller, Ph.D.

Van Vleet Professor and Chair

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

  • Ph.D. 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

  • Lu Y, Chen J, Wang J, Li CM, Ahn S, Barrett CM, Dalton JT, Li W, Miller DD. Design, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of Stable Colchicine Binding Site Tubulin Inhibitors as Potential Anticancer Agents. J Med Chem. 2014 Aug 26. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25122533.
  • Patil R, Fells JI, Szab├│ E, Lim KG, Norman DD, Balogh A, Patil S, Strobos J, Miller DD, Tigyi GJ. Design and Synthesis of Sulfamoyl Benzoic Acid Analogues with Subnanomolar Agonist Activity Specific to the LPA2 Receptor. J Med Chem. 2014 Aug 28;57(16):7136-40. doi: 10.1021/jm5007116. Epub 2014 Aug 12. PubMed PMID: 25100502; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4148159.
  • Jiang Y, Pagadala J, Miller DD, Steinle JJ. Insulin-like growth factor-1 binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) promotes recovery from trauma-induced expression of inflammatory and apoptotic factors in retina. Cytokine. 2014 Jul 28. pii: S1043-4666(14)00214-2. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2014.07.004. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25082650.
  • Chen J, Wang J, Schwab LP, Park KT, Seagroves TN, Jennings LK, Miller DD, Li W. Benzimidazole Analogs as Potent Hypoxia Inducible Factor Inhibitors: Synthesis, Biological Evaluation, and Profiling Drug-like Properties. Anticancer Res. 2014 Aug;34(8):3891-904. PubMed PMID: 25075010.
  • Narayanan R, Ahn S, Cheney MD, Yepuru M, Miller DD, Steiner MS, Dalton JT. Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) Negatively Regulate Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Growth and Epithelial:Mesenchymal Stem Cell Signaling. PLoS One. 2014 Jul 29;9(7):e103202. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103202. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 25072326; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4114483.
  • Toutounchian JJ, Steinle JJ, Makena PS, Waters CM, Wilson MW, Haik BG, Miller DD, Yates CR. Modulation of radiation injury response in retinal endothelial cells by quinic acid derivative KZ-41 involves p38 MAPK. PLoS One. 2014 Jun 23;9(6):e100210. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100210. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 24956278; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4067294.

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