People

Michael B. Miller, M.D., Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

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Dr. Miller is a physician-scientist interested in the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, serving as Principal Investigator and Associate Pathologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. 

Michael B. Miller grew up in the small Midwestern college town of Gambier, Ohio. He obtained his bachelor's degree from Grinnell College in Spanish and Biological Chemistry. There, he studied in the inquiry-based biology curriculum under Charles Sullivan and Vida Praitis, which inspired his interest in basic research and genetics. He then did a postbaccalaureate IRTA fellowship on genetic imprinting with Karl Pfeifer at the NIH (NICHD), providing a foray into using genetics to understand mammalian cells. 

Dr. Miller completed his combined MD/PhD training at the Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine. His thesis research, in Biochemistry with Surachai Supattapone, examined the mechanisms of formation and propagation of infectious mammalian prions, while inspiring an interest in neuroscience and neurodegeneration. Dr. Miller completed residency in Anatomic Pathology and fellowship in Neuropathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital. He then performed postdoctoral research with Christopher Walsh in neuronal somatic genomics at Boston Children's Hospital and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, where he carried out the first studies of the genomes of single neurons in Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. Miller opened his independent laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital in 2022, focusing on the mechanisms of somatic mutation and other aspects of single-cell biology in aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

Bowen Jin 

Postdoctoral Fellow

In 2023, Bowen joined the lab after earning her Ph.D. in Systems Biology and Bioinformatics from Case Western Reserve University. Her research focused on using single-cell RNA-seq to study transcriptomic burst kinetics and their link to aging. Additionally, she explored the risk of rare coding variants for Alzheimer's disease in the context of protein structures. Now, she aims to advance computational tools for somatic variant calling and investigate the impact of somatic variants in neurodegenerative diseases. Beyond her scientific pursuits, Bowen enjoys ice skating, hiking, and collecting ballpark experiences.

Chanthia Ma

MD/PhD Student

Chanthia is an MD-PhD candidate in the Harvard/MIT MD-PhD Program, with her MD through the HST track. For her PhD research, she is based in the lab of Dr. Christopher Walsh and co-mentored by Dr. Miller. Chanthia is interested in exploring the role of somatic mutations in neurodegenerative disease and optimizing single cell technologies for identifying such mutations.

Jeff Rasmussen

MD Student

Jeff is an MD student in the Pathways program at Harvard Medical School. He joined the lab in 2022 after graduating from Brown University with an M.A. in Neuroscience, and a B.S. in Physiology and Neurobiology from the University of Connecticut prior to that. His undergraduate research, mentored by Dr. Rahul Kanadia, investigated the role of the minor spliceosome in FUS protein-mediated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using an rnU11 knockout mouse.

Noel Jackson

PhD Student

Noel is a PhD candidate in the Biological and Biomedical Science (BBS) Program. She joined the lab in June 2024. She completed her Bachelor’s of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Hampton University (Hampton, VA) where she worked in the lab of Dr. Diana Castillo-Carranza. In the Castillo lab, she studied the cellular release mechanisms and spread of tau oligomers. In the lab, she is currently studying tauopathies by pathology-related single-cell transcriptomics.

Gannon McDonough

Research Assistant

Gannon joined the lab in 2022 after graduating from Allegheny College with a B.S. in Biology. His undergraduate research, mentored by Dr. Yee Mon Thu, focused on the post translational modification of sumoylation and telomere maintenance in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Gannon was awarded the Spotlight Award by the Brigham Research Institute in June, 2023, in recognition of his contributions to the Miller Lab. 

Katherine Sun-Mi Brown

Research Assistant

Katherine graduated with a B.A. in Chemistry-Biochemistry and Classics from Colby College in 2023. She completed her undergraduate thesis in atmospheric physical chemistry under the supervision of Dr. Greg Drozd, where she investigated brown carbon formation in aqueous aerosol. Additionally, she participated in a summer fellowship where conducted a proteomic study on the regulation of Oxidative Resistance Protein I (OXR1), a protein implicated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.

Elizabeth Hennessey

Clinical Research Coordinator 

Elizabeth joined the lab in 2023 after graduating from Colby College with a B.A. in Biology with a Neuroscience concentration. As an undergraduate, she worked in Dr. Yulia Grishchuk’s lab at the Center for Genomic Medicine at MGH studying potential gene therapies for a rare neurodegenerative disease, Mucolipidosis Type IV, using a mouse model. 

Samadhi Wijethunga

Undergraduate Co-Op Student 

Samadhi, currently pursuing her undergraduate degree at Northeastern University ('25) in Behavioral Neuroscience, joined the Miller lab in spring of 2024 through Northeastern's cooperative education program . At Northeastern, she works in Dr. Heather Brenhouse's Developmental Neuropsychobiology Lab, where she explores the neurobiological and psychosocial underpinnings of early life adversity on rat helping behavior, employing a maternal separation paradigm.

Lara Okyay

Undergraduate Student 

Lara is a first-year undergraduate student pursuing a Neuroscience degree at Harvard College. She joined the lab in January 2024 and has a strong interest in studying Alzheimer's Disease. 

Naomi Kennel

Undergraduate Student

Naomi is an undergraduate student at Kenyon College ('25) and joined the lab for the summer of 2023 and has returned for the summer of 2024. Her undergraduate research, mentored by Dr. Matthew Rouhier, focuses on xenobiotic transporter protein expression in the mosquito, Aedes aegypti.

Alumni

Sam Naik

Research Assistant (2022-2023)

Sam joined the lab in 2022 after graduating from Grinnell College with a B.A. in Biological Chemistry. His undergraduate research, done with Dr. Vida Praitis, used single cell genetics to investigate the mechanisms of cell migration during development in C. elegans. Sam has since moved on to medical school at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. 

Lucinda Harden

Undergraduate Student (Summer 2023)

Lucinda, a graduate of Colby College, joined the lab for the summer of 2023. She graduated with a B.A. in Chemistry-Biochemistry and Science, Technology, and Society (STS). At Colby, she worked in Dr. Dasan Thamattoor’s carbene chemistry lab, where she aimed to create a strained carbon ring through photolysis of a carbene precursor following a Takeda Olefination reaction. Lucinda will be pursuing a PhD at University of Pennsylvania starting in Fall 2024.

Madison Esposito

Medical Student Post-Sophomore Fellow in Pathology (Spring 2024)

Madison is a citizen of the Berry Creek Rancheria of Maidu Indians of California and joined the lab during a fellowship in pathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Before entering medical school, Madison completed an MPH at the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health and worked as a post-baccalaureate IRTA researcher at the National Institutes of Health in the Brody and Roederer labs where she worked on projects covering a wide variety of subjects, spanning from x-ray crystallography of HIV/SIV envelope proteins to vitamin B12 deficiency and neural tube defects. Madison is also a founding member of the Native education and public health non-profit Redbud Resource Group. Madison is a current medical student at University of Minnesota Medical School.