August 31, 2001
Robert C. Miller Jr. appointed as new vice chancellor for research
By Tim Stephens
Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood announced today the appointment of Robert C. Miller Jr.
to the position of vice chancellor for research. Miller, who currently serves as
vice provost for intellectual property and technology transfer at the University
of Washington, will assume his position at UCSC on September 15.
"We are absolutely delighted to have someone of Dr. Miller's experience and
background join this campus to help us expand and build our research activities,"
As vice chancellor for research, Miller will be responsible for coordination and
executive leadership of research administration and planning; development of research
funding opportunities and growth strategies across all academic divisions; development
of research policies; management of technology transfer activities; oversight of
contracts, grants, and research compliance matters; and advocacy with local, state,
and federal agencies. He will take over from Professor Emeritus Burney Le Boeuf,
who has been serving as interim vice chancellor for research.
Campus Provost John Simpson noted that Miller has a proven track record of increasing
research activity and funding on two campuses that are major research powerhouses:
the University of British Columbia and the University of Washington (UW).
"He brings to this campus tremendous expertise in intellectual property issues
and technology transfer, which have become extremely important areas for any research
university, and are particularly valuable to us at this stage in the development
of the campus," Simpson said.
Miller has helped UW become a national leader in transferring ideas from its research
labs to businesses and industry. As a result, the university receives considerable
income from licensing, royalties, and equity stakes in start-up companies.
Miller is also a distinguished scientist with an international reputation for research,
teaching, and administration. He is a professor of microbiology at UW, and at the
University of British Columbia he served as head of the Department of Microbiology,
dean of the Faculty of Science, and vice president of research.
His research interests include molecular genetics and nucleic acids. Much of his
research has focused on cellulases--enzymes that degrade cellulose--and their genes
in the bacterium Cellulomonas fimi. Because cellulase enzymes break down wood
fibers, they have applications in the pulp and paper industry. Miller holds five
U.S. patents based on his research.
Miller received his B.S. in physics from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., his
M.S. in biophysics from Pennsylvania State University, and his Ph.D. in molecular
biology from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society
of Canada, corecipient of the Gold Medal for Natural Sciences from the Science Council
of British Columbia, and recipient of numerous other honors for research, teaching,
and service. He serves as vice president of the Association of University Technology
Managers and serves on the Intellectual Property Management Committee of the Council
on Governmental Relations.
Return to Front Page