Henry I. Miller


Henry I. Miller, MS, MD, was the Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at the Hoover Institution. His research focused on public policy toward science and technology, encompassing a number of areas, including pharmaceutical development, genetic engineering in agriculture, models for regulatory reform, and the emergence of new viral diseases.

Miller served for fifteen years at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a number of posts. He was the medical reviewer for the first genetically engineered drugs to be evaluated by the FDA and thus instrumental in the rapid licensing of human insulin and human growth hormone. Thereafter, he was a special assistant to the FDA commissioner and the founding director of the FDA's Office of Biotechnology. During his government service, Miller participated frequently on various expert and policy panels as a representative of the FDA or the US government. As a government official, Miller received numerous awards and citations.

During his time at the Hoover Institution, Miller has become well known not only for his contributions to scholarly journals but also for his articles and books that make science, medicine, and technology accessible. His work has been widely published in many languages. Monographs include Policy Controversy in Biotechnology: An Insider's View; To America's Health: A Model for Reform of the Food and Drug Administration; and The Frankenfood Myth: How Protest and Politics Threaten the Biotech Revolution. Barron's selected The Frankenfood Myth as one of the 25 Best Books of 2004. In addition, Miller has published extensively in a wide spectrum of scholarly journals and popular publications worldwide, including The Lancet, Journal of the American Medical Association, Science, the Nature family of journals, Chronicle of Higher Education, Forbes, National Review, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, the Guardian, Defining Ideas, and the Financial Times. He was a regulator contributor to Forbes.com and frequently appeared on the nationally syndicated radio programs of John Batchelor and Lars Larson.

Miller was selected by the editors of Nature Biotechnology as one of the people who had made the "most significant contributions" to biotechnology during the previous decade. He serves on numerous editorial boards.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

How Authentic Is Public Input On Science-Driven Public Policy?

by Henry I. Millervia American Greatness
Saturday, March 10, 2018

Although we are healthier and live longer than our predecessors, and our food supply is more varied and inexpensive than ever, Americans are manifesting anxiety about all sorts of things—genetically engineered foods (derived from so-called “GMOs”), pharmaceuticals, chemicals, gluten, and even “chemtrails,” to name just a few. 

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A Different Kind Of Cancer Treatment

by Henry I. Miller, Joel E. Teppervia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Radiation therapy gets too little press and funding, but is critical in vanquishing the disease.

Analysis and Commentary

The First Amendment Applies To The FDA Too

by Henry I. Miller, Gregory Conkovia Reason
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Can the government prevent doctors from telling patients true facts about the medicine they prescribe?

Analysis and Commentary

A Plea For The Renewal Of The ISBR

by Giovanni Tagliabue, Marcel Kuntz, Henry I. Miller, Klaus Ammannvia Science Direct
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The recent meeting of the International Society for Biosafety Research (ISBR) focused on so-called genetically modified organisms. For decades, in most regulatory frameworks, recombinant DNA-modified organisms have been the wrong focus of unbalanced agri-food regulations. The ISBR should instead adopt a scientifically defensible and truly risk-based perspective, abandoning a misleading pseudo-category.

Analysis and Commentary

Transforming Modern Medicine Doesn't Have To Be High Tech Or Expensive

by Henry I. Millervia Genetic Literacy Project
Monday, March 5, 2018

Much of the progress in medicine since I was a medical student has involved expensive, high-tech diagnostic tests and therapies — a trend that has accelerated recently and worries health economists and politicians alike because it boosts healthcare costs.


How California Can Stave Off Day Zero

by Terry Anderson, Henry I. Miller quoting Gary D. Libecapvia City-Journal
Thursday, March 1, 2018

Allowing markets to allocate water would result in more efficient use—and greater supply.

Analysis and Commentary

NIH Needs To Raise The Bar For Funding Alternative Medicine Research

by Henry I. Millervia STAT
Monday, February 26, 2018

Suppose you needed to have a CT scan for a sudden, severe headache and partial loss of vision and your doctor asked a nutritionist to read it, rather than a radiologist. Would you trust the diagnosis? Evaluation by a different — and what most would consider a lesser — standard is essentially how a significant amount of research funding is approved by one component of the National Institutes of Health.

Analysis and Commentary

How We Can Prevent The Next Killer Flu Epidemic

by Henry I. Millervia Newsweek
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Seasonal outbreaks of flu kill many thousands of Americans even in a good year, and this is a bad one.

Analysis and Commentary

Personalized Medicine Needs Enlightened Regulation To Realize Its Potential

by Henry I. Millervia Journal of Commercial Biotechnology
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

[Subscription Required] Precision, or personalized, medicine, reflects that treatments -- especially those using biopharmaceuticals -- are gradually shifting from a relatively imprecise “one size fits all” approach to a more personalized one, so that patients can be matched to the best therapy based on their genetic makeup and other predictive factors. However, for the pharmaceutical industry, it could be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it could diminish the number of patients required to demonstrate efficacy in clinical trials, but on the other, it might narrow the approved labeling indications (uses), once the FDA allows the drug to be marketed. Moreover, if regulators require huge safety studies, that could offset the advantage of being able to show efficacy with smaller numbers of patients.


Physician: We Need A Universal Flu Vaccine -- No More Excuses

by Henry I. Millervia Fox News
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

My late father could recall as a child the horrendous flu pandemic of 1918-19. Horse-drawn wagons piled with corpses rolled through the streets of Philadelphia, where the death toll that winter was 15,556. In total, more than 500,000 Americans died. Worldwide, the pandemic was the worst in history, claiming between 50 million and 100 million lives.