Scott J. Miller was born on December 11, 1966 in Buffalo, NY. He received his B.A. (1989), M.A. (1989) and Ph.D. (1994) from Harvard University, where he worked with Professor David Evans as an NSF Fellow. Subsequently, he traveled to the California Institute of Technology where he was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor Robert Grubbs until 1996. From 1996-2006, he was a member of the faculty at Boston College, before joining the faculty at Yale University in 2006. In 2008, he was appointed as the Irénée du Pont Professor of Chemistry, and in 2009, the Chairperson of the Chemistry Department, a position he held for two consecutive terms, concluding in 2015. He then served as the Divisional Director of Science at Yale from 2015-2017. Professor Miller has served in an advisory capacity for a number of public and private concerns, including the Board of Chemical Sciences and Technology of the National Academies, and for various funding agencies. For example, Professor Miller served as a member (2005-2010) and chair (2009-2010) of the “Synthetic and Biological Chemistry B” study section of the NIH. He then completed a term on the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Advisory Council (2012-2015). Since 2017, Professor Miller has been the Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Organic Chemistry.

Research Interests

Scott J. Miller's lab is focused on the discovery and development of new catalysts for complex molecule synthesis and derivatization. Historically, his laboratory endeavored to develop peptide-based catalysts for enantioselective reactions. This strategy has benefited from, and created, heuristic analogies to enzymatic catalysis. His program integrates combinatorial methods for catalyst screening, rational design, and mechanistic studies. Persistent issues include control over catalyst conformational dynamics, and harnessing weak, non-covalent interactions. These efforts have resulted in significant contributions to the field of asymmetric catalysis based on novel catalysis concepts. Miller has also attempted to bring the principles of enantioselective catalysis to other types of selectivity challenges in synthetic chemistry, such as regioselectivity, site-selectivity and functional group selectivity, with particular attention to natural product diversification. With a focus on molecular functionality that is ubiquitous in complex bioactive compounds, his group has expanded the concept of late-stage functionalization, which is now a focus world-wide. This work establishes new strategies enabling the diversification of synthetic and naturally occurring scaffolds for study in medicinal chemistry. All the while, his group has expanded the capacity of catalysis to handle synthetic challenges of very high complexity, including stereochemical problems that present complex conformational dynamics in both catalysts and substrates.

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Primary Section

Section 14: Chemistry