Once patients can be identified, ideally with a blood test of their IL-6 levels, the next questions are which drugs to use and for how long.
Miller's primary mentor for the studies is Dr. Andrew Mellor, a molecular geneticist and immunologist who leads the Cancer Immunology, Inflammation Tolerance Program at the GHSU Cancer Center. Mellor also is Bradley-Turner & Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Molecular Immunogenetics. Co-secondary mentors are schizophrenia experts Dr. Peter F. Buckley, Dean of the Medical College of Georgia at GHSU, and Dr. Mark Rapaport, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine.
Schizophrenia affects about 1 percent of the population, or some 2.4 million American adults. Hallucinations are a disease hallmark: patients hear voices and can even see, touch and taste things that are not real. They can become depressed, reclusive and suicidal and have an increased risk of cardiovascular and other health conditions. Patients die on average15-20 years younger than the general population.
Miller, a recipient of the 2011 National Alliance on Mental Illness Exemplary Psychiatrist Award, said he felt a calling to psychiatry and specifically schizophrenia as a medical student at The Ohio State University. "The patients are wonderful and their stories are fascinating," he said, noting that the field is "wide open" to improve their care.
|Contact: Toni Baker|
Georgia Health Sciences University