Marvin J. Miller
The George and Winifred Clark Professor of Chemistry
From his laboratory on the Notre Dame campus, chemistry and biochemistry professor Marvin Miller is leading a group of scientists waging a battle against a range of increasingly antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. With more than 275 peer-reviewed publications and more than 20 U.S. patents, Miller is widely recognized for the design, synthesis, and study of novel antibiotics.
Recently, he and his research team formulated a new way to utilize new and even old drugs, like penicillin, that have lost some of their effectiveness against new strains of infections. The Miller Group devised a way to “smuggle” these drugs into diseased microbes by means of a sideophore—a molecule that carries iron into microbial cells. Their process sidesteps one important means of antibiotic resistance: the cell’s ability to recognize and prevent access to these compounds.
In 2009, Miller was honored by drug-maker Eli Lilly and Co. for his 30 years of service as a consultant. In 2012, he received the Henry L. Bolley Academic Award, North Dakota State University Alumni Award.
In 1954, George and Winifred Clark, residents of Mishawaka, Ind., established a fund at the University for the support of distinguished faculty. Over time, earnings from this fund were used to establish two Clark Professorships, one in biology and another in chemistry.