Benjamin (Ben) Miller, TWG & PEG Leaders

Benjamin (Ben) Miller, PhD, University of Rochester, is Co-Chair of the IPSR Photonics Sensors Technology Working Group (TWG).

Dr. Miller is is a Professor of Dermatology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Rochester.   Research in his group has included projects directed toward methods of non-biopolymeric molecular evolution (that is, how can we set up conditions such that a group of molecules will evolve towards having properties we want?), molecular recognition (how can we understand and control the interactions of biologically “interesting” molecules?), computer-aided molecular design, synthetic methodology, and materials science.  Most recently, Dr. Miller has focused on using his group’s expertise in molecular recognition chemistry, nanotechnology, and chip-based optical biomolecular sensing systems to aid in the development of novel biosensors and rapid diagnostic tools, as well as continuing to attack the problem of sequence-selective RNA recognition.  

He is an active entrepreneur, and is a founder of Adarza Biosystems, Inc., a start-up company focused on the development of label-free, multiplex optical biosensor technologies.

A few scientific highlights from Dr. Miller’s research group include:
  • Pioneering the concept of Dynamic Combinatorial Chemistry (1996-today): Developed simultaneously by Dr. Miller’s group and two groups in Europe, this has grown into a field. 
  • In collaboration with Dr. Philippe Fauchet, developing a silicon-based digital analog of the Gram stain (2001): a chip-based replacement for a bacterial identification method in continuous use since the 1880’s. This work continues in Miller’s lab through research on 2-D photonic crystals, devices able to sense single virus particles.
  • Development of Arrayed Imaging Reflectometry, a label-free, highly sensitive silicon chip-based technology for protein profiling (2004-today).
  • Design of the first synthetic molecules able to interfere with the molecular cause of the major form of adult onset muscular dystrophy (2008).  Dr. Miller’s group has also developed molecules currently in preclinical study as potential therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease and AIDS.
Dr. Miller received a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Stanford University, and he holds a BS in Chemistry, AB in Mathematics and AB in German, all from Miami University. He carried out postdoctoral research at Harvard University and, in 1996, joined the faculty of the University of Rochester.
Dr. Miller has been Chair or co-Chair of several international symposia. He is the recipient of a Research Corporation Research Innovation Award (1998), the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2001), the Rochester Business Journal Health Care Achievement Award (2009), and the Future of Health Technology Institute’s Future of Health Technology Award (2010). He is past Chair of the NIH Instruments and Systems Development (ISD) study section (2014-2016).


Co-Chair, Photonics Sensors TWG
University of Rochester