Public Release: 

Miller to receive ARVO's Proctor Medal

Top award for retinal research that revolutionizes views on nerve cell communication

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

Rockville, MD: The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) announced today that Prof. Robert F. Miller has been selected to receive the 2008 Proctor Medal, ARVO's highest honor. This award is presented annually for outstanding research in the basic or clinical sciences as applied to ophthalmology and will be presented to him during ARVO's Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, FL in April 2008.

Miller was chosen as the recipient of the Proctor Medal for his seminal discoveries on the basic mechanisms through which nerve cells of the retina communicate. He identified inhibition in the retina, paving the way for new knowledge on the processes of excitation and neurotransmission mediated by peptides. In addition, he provided major new insights into functional properties of glial cells which support new modes of cell communication. His development and application of computational techniques give a revolutionary view into the structure-function correlations of the microscopic anatomy of the dendritic branching patterns of amacrine and ganglion cells. Using these methods, he radically changed perspectives about the cellular compartments of retinal ganglion cells that contribute to impulse generation, which serves as the sole basis of how the retina communicates with the brain.

Throughout his career, Miller's work has helped shape contemporary understanding of neurocircuitry operations in the retina and the discrete cellular pathways that support them. He has always maintained a strong commitment to teaching and research training takes great pride in the fact that many of his former students and postdocs have become contemporary leaders in retina research.

At the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Dr. Miller holds the 3M Bert Cross Chair in Visual Neuroscience and is Professor of Ophthalmology. (Read more about his research at He received his MD from the University of Utah College of Medicine and did postdoctoral work at Johns Hopkins. During his career, Miller has had faculty positions in Physiology at SUNYAB in Buffalo New York, Ophthalmology and Physiology at Washington University in St. Louis and was the Head of Physiology at the University of Minnesota Medical School (1988-1998).

He has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards for his research and teaching, including an NIH MERIT award from NEI (1988-1998), "2000 Outstanding Professor Award" given by the Mortar Board Senior Honor Society for his undergraduate teaching, and the Bryan Boycott Award for Research given by FASEB. Dr. Miller has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Neurophysiology, and Brain Research. He also served on the VISA 2 National Eye Institute Study Section and currently serves on the Professional Ethics Committee of the national AAUP.


Established in 1928, ARVO is a membership organization of more than 11,500 eye and vision researchers from over 70 countries. The Association encourages and assists its members and others in research, training, publication, and dissemination of knowledge in vision and ophthalmology. ARVO's headquarters are located in Rockville, Md. For more information about ARVO, logon to the Association's Web site,

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