Press Release: Announcing the Launch of Our New Website

James N. Miller

Lyme Disease Foundation logo tick

James N. Miller, PhD

Dr. Miller was a Professor Emeritus on recall at the University of California at Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.) School of Medicine. He earned his Bachelor’s of Science degree from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in bacteriology, a Master's in microbiology, and a PhD in infectious diseases. He has approximately 150 published articles, 1,093 citations, 1,168 reads, several book chapters, manuals, and reviews to his credit. He was adored by all that knew him.

Dr. Miller was a world-renowned expert in the spirochete that causes syphilis, earning him the fond moniker as the “Father of syphilis.” Since about 1988, Dr. Miller has applied his spirochetal expertise to Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease pathogen.

Dr. Miller’s illustrious international career were impressive. He conducted research, lectured, and chaired scientific conferences. He was named a visiting professor at the University of Texas, University of NC School of Medicine, University of Arkansas School of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (Netherlands), and the World Health Organization. He also worked extensively with Oxford University (England), Congress of Immunology (Italy, and Australia), Polish Academy of Sciences, University of Vienna (Austria), University of Munich (Germany), and the Alfred Fournier Institute (France).

Dr. Miller was a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Bacteriology and Mycology Study Section and various other NIH study groups. He received numerous awards for teaching excellence from former students. He received the Award of Excellence and Innovation in Teaching from the UCLA School of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Miller also received the Outstanding Professional Service Award from the US Merchant Marine Academy, King’s Point, NY.

Jim was a member of the American Society for Microbiology, American Venereal Disease Association (member and past President), American Association of Immunologists, the International Union Against Venereal Diseases and Treponematoses, and is an honorary member of the Polish National Dermatological Society. Dr. Miller was a reviewer for several distinguished journals including the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Infection and Immunity, the Journal of Immunology, and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. He was also Associate Editor of the LDF's peer-reviewed Journal of Spirochetal and Tick-borne Diseases (which is available for reading in the Education/Scientific Education section of this website.)

Over the last 20 years, Dr. Miller served as an LDF board member, conference speaker, and organizer (hosting the first two tick-borne LDF scientific conferences held in California), as well as being an Associate Editor on the LDF’s scientific journal, The Journal of Spirochetal & Tick-Borne Diseases. (issues are in the LDF’s scientific education section).

Dr. Miller’s research interests included: Molecular and cellular approaches to the immunobiology and immunopathogenesis of syphilis and Lyme borreliosis: (a) development of an early disease rabbit model for Lyme borreliosis, (b) vaccine development utilizing recombinant molecules, (c) operative humoral and cell-mediated immune mechanisms in the acquired and neonatal infection, (d) antigenic interrelationships and structure-function analysis of surface and subsurface molecules, and (e) mechanisms of cellular attachment.

In 1985, Dr. Miller received the Thomas Parran Award by the American Venereal Diseases Association. Thomas Parran was instrumental in the building of the National Institutes in its modern form, played a significant role in the development of the World Health Organization, and helped launch the Hill-Burton (1946) program, which included the construction of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Miller’s dedication to educating others is legendary. When he originally agreed to work with the Lyme Disease Foundation, Inc. (“LDF”), he did so with the caveat that basic science would be incorporated into every LDF conference. We agreed and found that the inclusion of basic science was instrumental in the scientific leaps forward in tick-borne science. It was soon understood that some scientific proclamations were not supported by actual basic science. Dr. Miller sought out international research leaders in scientific research and brought them together as speakers at the growing LDF conferences.

Some of his research is available at:

Jim was equally at ease with researchers, front-line physicians struggling to diagnose and treat their patients, as well as patients and their advocates. In 2002, Dr. Miller was appointed to California’s Lyme Disease Advisory Council.

While his own accomplishments are formidable, Dr. Miller’s legacy will undoubtedly highlight his time spent nurturing students, colleagues, and others to constantly pursue higher levels of excellence. His interest was to examine scientific problems by looking at basic science first and then compare those findings to a healthcare professional’s delivery of medicine to patients. And, then to look at patient outcomes.

Dr. Miller is that mentor that everyone wished they had! He has been instrumental in the LDF’s dedication to pursuit to science. Jim died in 2023.
Lyme Disease Foundation Logo
The Lyme Disease Foundation, Inc. and all associates involved with the Lyme Disease Foundation (LDF) will not share any personal information provided here with Third Parties, nor will we disclose your donor status unless you affirmatively ask us to. The purpose of providing such information is to receive quarterly newsletters about the LDF and their general events. Submitting this form is giving consent for us to send you an email containing our newsletters, until such date as you request a stop, at which time we will remove all information involved with the email submitted.