Louis H. Miller
1999 Common Wealth Award
Chief of the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Louis H. Miller was honored with the Common Wealth Award for his contributions to research on malaria, the most widespread of tropical diseases, and to its control and treatment. During his career, he has made important discoveries about the tools malaria parasites use to infect and survive in humans and mosquitoes. Miller is also interested in, and has done some research on, how genetic engineering could be used to neutralize mosquitoes that act as carriers of malaria in regions where it is endemic. He and other scientists believe that a gene could some day be introduced into mosquito populations to make them resistant to malaria parasites, thus stopping the life cycle of the parasite and the spread of the disease. A graduate of Haverford College, Columbia University and the medical school at Washington University, Miller began working on malaria in 1965 when he was assigned to Bangkok, Thailand, with the U.S. Army Medical Corps. In 1971, he came to the National Institutes of Health to head the malaria section of the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases. He is a recipient of many awards and honors, including the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Infectious Disease Research; election to the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine; and the Paul Ehrlich-Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize.