Henry I. Miller

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Henry Miller
Henry Miller and dog.jpg
Born (1947-07-01) July 1, 1947 (age 67)
South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Occupation Doctor and Author

Henry I. Miller is an American medical researcher and columnist, formerly with the FDA, since 1994 the Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, a public policy think tank located on the university's campus in California.[1] He is an Adjunct Fellow of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.


Miller was born on July 1, 1947 in South Philadelphia and raised there.

He was educated at M.I.T. (B.S. in Life Sciences) and the University of California, San Diego (M.Sc. and M.D.) and was a resident and Clinical Fellow in Medicine[specify] at Harvard's Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. He performed research on gene organization and expression as a Research Fellow in the laboratory of Philip Leder M.D. at the National Institutes of Health and is the co-discoverer of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase in influenza ("flu") virus.[2]

Miller was a civil servant for fifteen years at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (1979-94). He was the medical reviewer for the first genetically engineered drugs to be evaluated by the FDA and was instrumental in the rapid licensing of genetically engineered human insulin and human growth hormone. From 1985 to 1989, he was a special assistant to the FDA commissioner and from 1989 to 1993, the founding director of the FDA's Office of Biotechnology.

Since coming to the Hoover Institution in 1994, Miller has authored books and articles in scholarly journals, newspapers and online. He has been an Adjunct Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.[3] He also has been a director of American Council on Science and Health and a Consulting Professor at Stanford University's Institute for International Studies (now[when?] the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies).[citation needed]

Letter to Columbia and Response[edit]

On April 16, 2015, Miller coordinated a letter from a group of physicians to Columbia University demanding that the College of Physicians and Surgeons remove Mehmet Oz as a professor of surgery. The letter claimed that Oz has "shown disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine... for personal financial gain." Oz denied the claims in a statement made on April 17, 2015, saying "I bring the public information that will help them on their path to be their best selves. We provide multiple points of view, including mine which is offered without conflict of interest. That doesn't sit well with certain agendas which distort the facts..." Columbia came to Oz's defense, saying “Columbia is committed to the principle of academic freedom and to upholding all faculty members’ freedom of expression for statements they make in public discussion,” [4] However, the physicians' letter elicited widespread criticism of Oz, much of it vitriolic, from a variety of quarters, including John Oliver on TV, [5] Michael Specter in the New Yorker, [6] and Oz's faculty colleagues at Columbia. [7] [8]

Selected publications[edit]

Monographs include "Policy Controversy in Biotechnology: An Insider's View";[9] To America's Health: A Model for Reform of the Food and Drug Administration;[10] and The Frankenfood Myth: How Protest and Politics Threaten the Biotech Revolution.[11] which Barron's chose as one of the 25 Best Books of 2004.[12][third-party source needed]

He is a frequent contributor to the Forbes.com science and technology section.[13] He writes frequently about public policy issues surrounding pharmaceutical development, genetic engineering and infectious diseases [14] For example, on 10 Sep 2014, Miller posted that there are far higher public health priorities to spend money on than Ebola.[15] He is a columnist for "Project Syndicate".[16]

Miller has been invited by the conservative think tank George C. Marshall Institute and is on record saying that "environmental groups such as Greenpeace are using the precautionary principle to oppose development of those products and others that would improve agricultural productivity, [...] not because they are dangerous, but because they are at odds with a social vision that is “anti-business, anti-technology, and anti-American.[17]

Miller regularly appears on the nationally syndicated radio programs of John Batchelor and Lars Larson.[citation needed]


Miller was the first recipient of an award named for him for Excellence in Public Health Education, from the American Council on Science and Health, 2008.[18][third-party source needed] He was selected in 2006 by the editors of "Nature Biotechnology" as one of the people who had made the "most significant contributions" to biotechnology during the previous decade.[19][third-party source needed]


  1. ^ "Henry I. Miller". The Hoover Institution. July 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ Edward Penhoet, Henry Miller, Michael Doyle, and Stanley Blatti (1 June 1971). "RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase Activity in Influenza Virions". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S 68: 1369–71. doi:10.1073/pnas.68.6.1369. PMC 389191. PMID 5288388. 
  3. ^ "Henry I. Miller". Competitive Enterprise Institute. n.d. Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  4. ^ http://www.buzzfeed.com/tasneemnashrulla/a-group-of-doctors-asked-columbia-to-remove-dr-oz-from-its-f#.xox1NrYLE
  5. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TucUMpWWe8A
  6. ^ http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/columbia-and-the-problem-of-dr-oz
  7. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/01/opinion/concerns-about-dr-oz-a-clash-at-columbia.html
  8. ^ http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/04/23/dr-oz-show-columbia-doctors-call-for-resignation-column/26179443/
  9. ^ Henry I Miller (January 24, 1997). Policy Controversy in Biotechnology: An Insider's View. Academic Press. ISBN 0124967256. 
  10. ^ Henry I Miller (4 August 2000). "To America's Health: A Proposal to Reform the Food and Drug Administration". The Hoover Institution Press. 
  11. ^ Henry Miller; Gregory Conko (2004). The Frankenfood Myth: How Protest and Politics Threaten the Biotech Revolution. Praeger. p. 296. ISBN 0275978796. 
  12. ^ "Barron's 25 Best Books of 2004". seeking alpha.com. 18 December 2004. 
  13. ^ "Contributor: Henry I. Miller". Forbes. 
  14. ^ http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/
  15. ^ http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2014/09/10/there-are-many-far-higher-public-health-priorities-for-africa-than-ebola/
  16. ^ "Henry I. Miller". Project Syndicate. n.d. 
  17. ^ Duane D. Freese (February 1, 2004). "Science Debunks Precautionary Principle". Heartland News. heartland.org. Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  18. ^ "Scientists Honor Top Science Op-Ed Writer: Henry I. Miller". American Council on Science and Health. 7 May 2008. 
  19. ^ Sabine Louet (1 March 2006). "Who's Who in Biotech" (PDF). Nature Biotechnology 24 (3). doi:10.1038/nbt0306-291.