Sam Miller, M.D.

Sam Miller, M.D.

Professor, Microbiology, Genome Sciences and Medicine Adjunct Professor, Immunology

Samuel I. Miller is a Professor of Medicine, Microbiology, Immunology and Genome Sciences at the University of Washington. He has been the Director of the NIAID Northwest Research Center for Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases since its inception in 2003 and of the University of Washington Enteric Research Investigative Center of NIAID since 2010. He is the past Director of the Cystic Fibrosis Research and Development Program at the U W. He received his B.A. from John Hopkins University in 1975 and M.D. in 1979 from Baylor College of Medicine and was an Intern, Resident, Fellow, Assistant and Associate Professor at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. His research training was in the laboratories of Dr. Dyann Wirth (Harvard School of Public Health, molecular parasitiology) and Dr. John Mekalanos (Harvard Medical School, bacterial pathogenesis).

Contact Info

Department of Microbiology
University of Washington  
Office K-140, HSC, Box 357710
1959 NE Pacific Street
Seattle WA 98195
Phone: 206-616-5107
Fax: 206-616-4295

Research Areas

  • Molecular Immunology
    Innate Immunity


Miller Lab Website


Sam Miller

His laboratory is focused on defining the molecular basis of bacterial pathogenesis and interactions with eukaryotic cells, with a special emphasis on innate immune response to Gram-negative bacteria. Some of Dr. Miller’s important contributions include: defining how Salmonella senses antimicrobial peptides and pH to promote pathogenesis, environmental regulation of Lipid A structure of Gram-negative bacteria to promote resistance to antimicrobial peptides and alter recognition by mammalian LPS receptor complex, definition of structure and function of type III secretion machinery and effector proteins, the definition of important genetic and functional adaptations of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infecting the airways of individuals with cystic fibrosis,  and recently, the development of technology to define human diversity in innate immune recognition of bacteria, and a development of a biosensor for c-di-GMP to visualize second messenger dynamics in living bacteria.

1. Mills E, Pultz IS, Kulasekara HD, Miller SI. The bacterial second messenger c-di-GMP: mechanisms of signaling. Cell Microbiol. 2011 Jun 24. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2011.01619.x. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:21707905
2. Rohmer L, Hocquet D, Miller SI. Are pathogenic bacteria just looking for food? Metabolism and microbial pathogenesis. Trends Microbiol. 2011 Jul;19(7):341-8. Epub 2011 May 18. PMID:21600774
3. Farris C, Sanowar S, Bader MW, Pfuetzner R, Miller SI. Antimicrobial peptides activate the Rcs regulon through the outer membrane lipoprotein RcsF. J Bacteriol. 2010 Oct;192(19):4894-903. Epub 2010 Jul 30. PMID:20675476
4. Vinh DB, Ko DC, Rachubinski RA, Aitchison JD, Miller SI. Expression of the Salmonella spp. virulence factor SifA in yeast alters Rho1 activity on peroxisomes. Mol Biol Cell. 2010 Oct 15;21(20):3567-77. Epub 2010 Aug 25.

5. Sanowar S, Singh P, Pfuetzner RA, André I, Zheng H, Spreter T, Strynadka NC, Gonen T, Baker D, Goodlett DR, Miller SI.Interactions of the transmembrane polymeric rings of the Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium type III secretion system. MBio. 2010 Aug 3;1(3). pii: e00158-10. PMID:20824104 
B.A., The Johns Hopkins University
M.D., Baylor College of Medicine

Miller laboratory members can be found at: