Lisa A. Miller, Ph.D.

Respiratory Diseases Unit
Unit Leader
Inhalation Exposure Core Lead

Dept. of Anatomy, Physiology, & Cell Biology
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Miller’s research program is focused on investigating the impact of environmental exposures (air pollution, allergens, microbes) on pulmonary and immune system development during the first year of life. She uses both cell culture approaches and animal models to address questions related to mucosal immune mechanisms in pediatric populations, with an emphasis on understanding the etiology of childhood asthma and susceptibility to infectious disease.

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Highlight summary of Dr. Miller’s research (PDF)

Chou Debbie et. al. Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol. 2005; 33:1-8


Link to Dr. Miller’s PubMed publications

Ontogeny of the Pulmonary Immune System. Burke CM and Miller LA in “The Lung: Development, Aging, and the Environment” edited by Harding R, Pinkerton K, Plopper C. Academic Press, London, UK, 2014.

Clay CC and Miller LA. Infant airway epithelium is susceptible to persistent effects of tobacco smoke exposure. Differential regulation of innate responses to virus and bacteria. Ann Am Thorac Soc Suppl 1:S75-S76, 2014.

Evans MJ, Miller LA, and Hyde DM. The basement membrane zone in asthma: the supracellular anchoring network. Current Respiratory Medicine Reviews 2013.

Chronic Airway Disease in Nonhuman Primates. Hyde DM, Miller LA, Schelegle ES, Fanucchi MV, Van Winkle LS, Tyler NK, Avdalovic MV, Evans MJ, Kajekar R, Buckpitt AR, Pinkerton KE, Joad JP, Gershwin LJ, Wu R, Plopper CG in “Chronic Obstructive Lung Diseases” edited by Voelkel NF and MacNee W. BC Decker, Inc., Hamilton, Ontario, 2008.

Primate Models of Allergic Asthma. Plopper CG, Smiley-Jewell S, Miller LA, Fanucchi MV, Evans MJ, Buckpitt AR, Avdalovic M, Gershwin LJ, Joad JP, Kajekar R, Larson S, Pinkerton KE, Van Winkle LS, Schelegle ES, Pieczarka EM, Wu R, Hyde DM in “Allergy and Allergic Diseases, 2nd Edition” edited by Kay AB, Bousquet J, Holt PG, and Kaplan AP. Blackwell Publishing, 2008.

Ontogeny of the Pulmonary Immune System. Miller LA in “The Lung: Development, Aging, and the Environment” edited by Harding R, Pinkerton K, Plopper C. Academic Press, London, UK, 2003.

Developmental Origins of Health and Disease

The notion that early life (from conception through postnatal development) is particularly susceptible to environmental cues that have long term impact on health and disease risk is often referred to as the Barker Hypothesis. This concept was based upon a series of publications in The Lancet from 1986-1993 by Barker and colleagues, in which incidence of human disease was significantly linked by geographic locations in Europe. It is now known that early life environmental exposures such as air pollution, parental behavior, nutrition, and endocrine disruptor chemicals can modulate activity of genes through epigenetic processes, thereby contributing to the development of disease later in life. An important goal for Dr. Miller's research is to identify timely interventions to reduce health risks in individuals and also limit risk transmission to the next generation.