Lisa A. Miller, Ph.D.

Cardiorespiratory Diseases Unit
Unit Leader
Inhalation Exposure Core Lead

Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and 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 primarily in pediatric populations, with an emphasis on understanding the etiology of chronic respiratory disease in adults.

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

Primate Models of Allergic Asthma. Plopper, C.G., Smiley-Jewell, S., Miller, L.A., Fanucchi, M.V., Evans, M.J., Buckpitt, A.R., Avdalovic, M., Gershwin, L.J., Joad, J.P., Kajekar, R., Larson, S., Pinkerton, K.E., Van Winkle, L.S., Schelegle, E.S., Pieczarka, E.M., Wu, R., and Hyde, D.M. in “Allergy and Allergic Diseases, 2nd Edition” edited by A.B. Kay, J. Bousquet, P.G. Holt, and A.P. Kaplan. Blackwell Publishing, 2008.

Chronic Airway Disease in Nonhuman Primates. Hyde, D.M., Miller, L.A., Schelegle, E.S., Fanucchi, M.V., Van Winkle, L.S., Tyler, N.K., Avdalovic, M.V., Evans, M.J., Kajekar, R., Buckpitt, A.R., Pinkerton, K.E., Joad, J.P., Gershwin, L.J., Wu, R., Plopper, C.G. in “Chronic Obstructive Lung Diseases” edited by N.F. Voelkel and W. MacNee. BC Decker, Inc., Hamilton, Ontario, 2008.

Ontogeny of the Pulmonary Immune System.  Miller, L.A. in “The Lung: Development, Aging, and the Environment” edited by R. Harding, K. Pinkerton, C. Plopper. 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.