• Portrait of Donald Miller
  • Professor

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    Pharmacology and Therapeutics
    Room SR438, KIAM - Health Sciences Centre
    710 William Avenue
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 3J7

    Phone: 204-789-3278

Research summary

Dr. Donald Miller's research interests focus on understanding the cellular factors that control blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability under both normal and pathological conditions. His lab uses both cell culture and whole animal models to examine various transport processes for moving drugs and solutes into and out of the brain. His research program includes examination of BBB changes during brain tumour development, identification of methods for increasing the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents to more effectively treat brain tumours, identification and characterization of drug efflux transport proteins in the blood-brain barrier and the molecular mechanisms influencing their activity and expression, and the design and development of nanoparticle drug delivery platforms for treating central nervous system diseases. Additionally, his lab has also examined inflammatory processes including cytokine and lipid mediators of inflammation and their impact on brain endothelial response. This research has recently expanded into studying inflammatory cascades in other organs/tissues including chondrocytes (joint-related inflammation) and microglia/macrophage (CNS and systemic inflammation). Overall, Dr. Miller's research aims to improve therapeutic approaches for the treatment of brain tumours, identify biomarkers for monitoring brain tumour response to therapy and increase drug delivery to the brain for treatment of CNS disorders.

Research themes

  • Nanomedicine
  • Drug delivery applications and systems
  • Blood-brain barrier physiology and pathophysiology
  • Brain tumour treatment and monitoring

Research interests

  • Understanding the cellular regulators of blood-brain barrier function under normal and pathophysiological conditions
  • Development of methods for increasing drug delivery (both small molecules and biologicals) to the brain for treatment of CNS disorders
  • Improving therapeutic approaches for the treatment of brain tumours
  • Identification of biomarkers for monitoring brain tumour response to therapy

Research affiliations

  • Principal investigator, Kleysen Institute for Advanced Medicine, Health Science Centre
  • Adjunct senior scientist, Research Institute in Oncology and Hematology (RIOH), University of Manitoba

Research groups

  • Nanomedicines Innovation Network (NMIN) – member of HQP Advisory Committee


  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Nanoparticles
  • Biomarker
  • Brain tumour
  • Drug delivery


Dr. Donald Miller is a professor in pharmacology and therapeutics at the University of Manitoba. He is an internationally recognized expert in drug transporters and blood-brain barrier function, having served on grant and fellowship review panels at both the National Institutes of Health and Canadian Institutes of Health Research, as well as a reviewer and site visit examiner for Austrian and European Union based program grant initiatives.

He has participated on external scientific advisory boards for Vireo Systems Inc. (US-based nutraceutical company) and SFB35 –Transporters in Health and Disease – a multiple researcher project scheme type grant from the University of Vienna. His research interests include understanding cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating blood-brain barrier function under normal and pathological conditions and identification of methods for enhancing drug delivery to the brain.


Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Kansas (1993)

Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Kansas (1991)

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Bethel College (1985)



  • Young Investigator Award, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy


  • Canadian Foundation for Innovation New Opportunities Award


  • Lindse-Blocke Named Visiting Professor in Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN


  • Harris McCain Visiting Professor in Biological Sciences, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS


Dr. Donald Miller In the news

Contact us

Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Max Rady College of Medicine
A205 Chown Bldg., 753 McDermot Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0T6 Canada