Prof Bob Millar receives an A2 rating at the NRF Awards

Posted on September 19, 2012

Biography of Professor Robert Millar – University of Pretoria


Broad training, an extensive publishing history and a large patent portfolio have placed Professor Robert Millar at the forefront of Health and Medical sciences in areas such as biochemistry, neuroendocrinology and cancer research. His work has not only broken new ground in understanding human and animal physiology, but has also led to new treatments for cancer and other diseases.

Prof. Millar obtained his BSc and MSc in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of London, and his PhD in reproductive physiology from the University of Liverpool. He completed his MRCPath and FRCPath from the Royal College of Pathologists in London. His broad training, which includes chemistry, zoology, biochemistry, physiology, clinical endocrinology, reproductive biology and more, has stood him in good stead not only as a researcher but as a mentor for PhD students.

His work has made a major impact in areas of human reproduction, hormone replacement and the treatment of disease, such as cancer. His recent research has focused on gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH), pioneering the discovery of GnRH prohormones and novel GnRHs. His group participated in a collaborative effort for the first cloning of the GnRH receptor and the discovery of GnRH subtypes. As a result, great strides have been made in the development of anti-cancer drugs.

Furthermore, he has been involved in successfully taking eight drugs into the clinic for treating diseases such as prostatic cancer, endometriosis, infertility, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Prof Millar has worked as Associate, full Professor and Dean of Research in the Medical Faculty at the University of Cape Town for 30 years. This service period was followed by an appointment as Director of the Medical Research Council’s Human Reproductive Sciences Unit at the University of Edinburgh.

He is currently Director of the Mammal Research Institute at the University of Pretoria and Director of the UCT/MRC Receptor Biology Group. He has also held the position of Chair and Fellow at UCT. He was founder of the Reproductive Health Company, Ardana Biosciences which took four drugs into the market, and consults extensively with companies in the pharmacology and biotechnology sectors.

Among many awards, Prof Millar has received the Wellcome Gold Medal, the Oppenheimer Gold Medal, and is a Geoffrey Harris Laureate and Ernst and Berta Scharrer Laureate. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal Society of South Africa.

Prof Millar has an extensive publishing track record with more than 350 papers in publications such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Endocrinology. He is Editor-in-Chief of Neuroendocrinology and has served on the editorial boards of a number of international journals. He holds 18 patents and has presented numerous plenary and keynote lectures at local and international conferences. His work has received more than 11 000 citations and maintains an H-index of 54.

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