James Douglas  Miller, MD
1937-1996

J. DOUGLAS MILLER was born in Glasgow, Scotland on July 20, 1937. He attended Medical School at the University of Glasgow graduating in 1961. After three years of training in general surgery and surgical specialties, he embarked on his neurosurgical training in 1965 in the Institute of Neurological Sciences in Glasgow under the direction of J. Sloan Robertson and Bryan Jennett. During residency training in neurosurgery, he was a Medical Research Council Fellow working on applications of hyperbaric oxygen to amelioration of intracranial hypertension and cerebral ischaemia. In 1970 at the end of clinical neurosurgical training, he obtained an NIH International Post-doctoral Fellowship to work with Dr. Tom Langfitt who had just been awarded an NIH Head Injury Centre grant at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1971 he returned to Glasgow as Senior Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the University Department of Neurosurgery headed by Bryan Jennett in the Institute of Neurological Sciences. He continued work on the relationships between cerebral perfusion pressure and cerebral blood flow following brain injury.

In 1975 he returned to the United States to join Dr. Donald Becker at the Medical College of Virginia as Professor of Neurological Surgery under the State of Virginia Eminent Scholar programme. Shortly after arrival in Richmond, he was awarded an NIH Clinical Head Injury Research Centre grant. This funding allowed completion of a series of studies in patients and parallel studies of experimental head injury.

In 1981 he went back to Scotland to succeed John Gillingham as Forbes Professor of Surgical Neurology in the University of Edinburgh thus fulfilling a long cherished ambition. In Edinburgh it was possible to continue the themes of research into head injury, brain edema and cerebral hemodynamics. Gradually, with funding from the Scottish Office, the Medical Research Council and the charitable foundation Action Research a small brain injury research group was established. In 1986 the opportunity arose to merge the University Departments of Surgical Neurology and Medical Neurology to form a Department of Clinical Neurosciences and to establish a Chair of Medical Neurology for the first time in Edinburgh. Charles Warlow was attracted from his Readership in Neurology at the University of Oxford to take the Chair of Medical Neurology and to bring to Edinburgh his established research programme in the epidemiology and treatment of stroke. Edinburgh became the centre for the European Trial of Carotid Endarterectomy.

In 1991 he became Vice President of the Society of British Neurological Surgeons and served as President for the period 1992-1994. At that time he was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He was a Director of our Western General Hospitals Trust.

He served as Secretary to the Intercollegiate Board for the Specialist Examination in Surgical Neurology in the UK, and as Vice Chairman of the European Examination committee of the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies. He cherished his continuing links with the US via research and additional advisory positions.

He married Margot in 1965, they had two sons, Derek and Kenneth.

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