The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) selected NIEHS clinical researcher Fred Miller, M.D., Ph.D., for one of the group’s highest honors — Master of the American College of Rheumatology.
Miller, deputy chief of the NIEHS Clinical Research Branch and head of the Environmental Autoimmunity Group, received the honor Nov. 12 during the ACR annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
The designation of Master is bestowed on members of the college to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology, through scholarly achievement and service to their patients, students, and profession. Miller’s work has addressed environmental risk factors, epidemiology, immunology, genetics, treatment, and other aspects of immune-mediated diseases.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for advancing the health of patients with autoimmune diseases, but it has taken the joint efforts of many colleagues to advance to where we stand today,” said Miller. “I am truly humbled to receive this designation and join the ranks of many distinguished rheumatologists.”
NIEHS Clinical Director Janet Hall, M.D., said the recognition was richly deserved. “Fred is not only an excellent clinician and researcher, but his passion has led him into leadership roles at the international level.”
Myositis research — international and collaborative
Much of Miller’s work has focused on autoimmune muscle diseases, especially a group of syndromes known as myositis (see sidebar). He helped form the International Myositis Assessment and Clinical Studies Group to develop consensus and standards for myositis research and to facilitate international, multidisciplinary collaborations. Miller and his colleague at NIEHS, Lisa Rider, M.D., helped organize the first international myositis conference, in 2015. Miller is the lead organizer for the May 2017 conference, which will be held in Maryland.
Miller also established the Myositis Genetics Consortium (MYOGEN) to define new genetic risk and protective factors for myositis phenotypes. The consortium has already identified new genetic risk factors for the disease.