Courtney Miller

Courtney Miller, Ph.D.

Director Of Academic Affairs And Professor

Department: SR-ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
Business Phone: (561) 228-2958
Business Email: courtneymiller@ufl.edu

Accomplishments

Host
2018 · SFN Women in Neuroscience Luncheon, "Effective self-promotion"
Contributor
2017 · NIH Opioid Meeting Series, "Understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of pain"
Distinguished Speaker Award
2016 · UNC Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
PECASE (Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers)
2016 ·
TSRI Outstanding Mentor Award
2015 ·
Associate Member
2014 · American College of Neuropharmacology
Most influential paper published by Neuron in 2007
2014 ·
Faculty of 1000 Selections
2013 ·
Faculty of 1000 Selections
2010 ·
Co-Organizer
2008 · Co-Organizer, SFN Social, Professional Women's Nexus (PWN), "Breaking barriers for young women in science"
Kauffman Fellow
2008 · Venture Capital Program
Co-Founder
2007 · Professional Women's Nexus (PWN)
Faculty of 1000 Selections
2007 ·
NIDA Young Investigator Award
2005 ·

Research Profile

The Miller Lab is working to develop new medications for the treatment of disorders marked by persistent, unwanted memories – specifically substance use disorder (SUD; addiction) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Mechanistically, our efforts are large focused on epigenetic and synaptic structural players.

DEVELOPMENT OF THERAPEUTICS TO PREVENT ADDICTION RELAPSE

Dr. Miller has long been interested in ways to selectively disrupt drug-associated memories (Reconsolidation; Miller and Marshall, Neuron, 2005) and the mechanisms that contribute to the persistence of memory (DNA methylation; Miller et al, Nature Neuroscience, 2010). In bringing these two areas together, the Miller Lab made the surprising discovery that memories associated with the commonly abused stimulant, methamphetamine, employ a unique, actin-based storage mechanism in the brain’s emotional memory center, the amygdala, that allows for their selective disruption (Young et al, Biological Psychiatry, 2014). This was followed by identification of nonmuscle myosin II (NMII) as a viable therapeutic target (Young et al, Molecular Psychiatry, 2015) and we are now in the middle of a drug development program supported by the NIH’s Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network to develop a clinically safe NMII inhibitor. The goal is to enter a Phase 1a safety trial in 2020.

REGULATION OF TRAUMATIC MEMORY RELATED TO PTSD

We recently developed an animal model with PTSD-like features, including differential susceptibility, which has been replicated by other groups. The stress susceptible subgroup displays persistent, stress-enhanced fear memory, hyperarousal, amygdala hyperactivation and differential expression of genes with known polymorphisms in human PTSD genomic studies (Sillivan et al, Biological Psychiatry, 2017). Importantly, the stress susceptible population can be identified by training behavior, removing the need for additional phenotyping that introduces a molecular confound. Because the model was developed in an inbred mouse line (c57’s), it’s an excellent opportunity to investigate epigenetic mechanisms. To date we have largely focused on noncoding RNAs, including miRNAs. Small RNA-sequencing integrated with quantitative proteomics revealed a panel of miRNAs persistently upregulated in the amygdala of stress susceptible mice. We recently completed a study demonstrating a functional role for one of these miRNAs, which is also expressed in the human amygdala. Working with our collaborators, we also discovered the miRNA’s passenger strand is elevated in serum of a Dutch military cohort diagnosed with PTSD six months after a combat deployment to Afghanistan, indicating this miRNA may be a therapeutic target and biomarker for PTSD. Efforts are now shifting to in vivo calcium imaging and manipulation of the activity-dependent neuronal ensembles regulating differential susceptibility to stress.

Publications

2011
Forgot your HAT? CBP might be to blame.
Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. 36(8):1543-4 [DOI] 10.1038/npp.2011.79. [PMID] 21673711.
2011
Stressed and depressed? Check your GDNF for epigenetic repression.
Neuron. 69(2):188-90 [DOI] 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.01.006. [PMID] 21262458.
2010
Cortical DNA methylation maintains remote memory.
Nature neuroscience. 13(6):664-6 [DOI] 10.1038/nn.2560. [PMID] 20495557.

Grants

Apr 2022 ACTIVE
Targeting Go and Grow in Glioblastoma
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: MAYO CLINIC via NATL INST OF HLTH NINDS
Apr 2022 ACTIVE
Myosin II regulation of actin dynamics and the selective vulnerability of methamphetamine- and opioid-associated memory
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NIDA
Apr 2022 ACTIVE
Integrated Platform for Discovery and Validation of Probes that Restore Protein Expression in Single-Gene Causes of Autism and Related Disorders
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NIMH
Apr 2022 ACTIVE
Developing nonmuscle myosin II inhibitors for the treatment of glioblastoma
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NINDS
Apr 2022 ACTIVE
Assessing the role of circRNAs in memory consolidation
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NIMH
Apr 2022 ACTIVE
Preventing alcohol seeking with a nonmuscle myosin II inhibitor under clinical development
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NIAAA
Apr 2022 ACTIVE
Circuit-level substrates of ASD-related cognitive and behavioral impairments
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NIMH
Apr 2022 ACTIVE
Drug Discovery for First-In-Class Myosin 10 Inhibitors as a Novel Target for Glioblastoma
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NINDS

Education

Ph.D. in Neurobiology
2005 · University of California, Irvine
Bachelor's of Science in Biopsychology
1999 · University of California, Santa Barbara

Contact Details

Phones:
Business:
(561) 228-2958
Emails:
Addresses:
Business Mailing:
120 SCRIPPS WAY
JUPITER FL 33458