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  • Ronald W Millard, PhD
  • Emeritus Professor
  • Department of Pharmacology & Cell Biophysics
  • 513-558-2336


  • My research interests include cardiovascular systems control from the cellular to the intact organism. Specific research expertise areas wihtin this topic include; (1) tissue, cellular, and molecular changes during heart failure and the effects of cell-based therapies and pharmacological interventions, (2) non-invasive imaging (ultrasound and nuclear) technologies, (3) heart and heart cell biomechanics, fluid dynamics and biomaterials, (4) biomedical engineering related to caardiovascular devices and drugs, (5) systems mechanisms of cardiovascular drugs, and (6) adaptations to environmental stress (including low oxygen, cold temperature and gavitational extremes). STEM CELL BASED APPROACHES to HEART TISSUE REGENERATION after HEART ATTACK:  Our most recent NIH-funded (through 2017) collaborative work is probing the capacity of engineered and programmed pluripotent stem cells to regenerate functional heart tissue following experimental myocardial ischemia (coronary artery occlusion) including heart muscle cells and new blood vessels that integrate with and connect to native muscle cells and blood vessels.  With this research program we are probing the role of specific microRNAs in producing desired outcomes, and in the use of genetically engineered stem cells to differentiate into heart tissue lineages and to elaborate cell derived molecular signals which attract circulating peripheral stem cells to participate in tissue repair and regeneration. NON-INVASIVE MOLECULAR & ULTRASOUND IMAGING: We are currently exploring adrenergic neuronal dynamics and programmed cell death (apoptosis) with radionuclide labeled reporter molecules. We are applying dynamic molecular imaging methods to assess early autonomic and cardiovascular biomarkers of certain neurodegenerative disorders.  We use heart cells, isolated hearts, and intact cardiovascular systems (animal models)to study key receptor and transporter protein-based events that may be adaptive to heart disease or responsive to drug interventions. We have reported previously on myocardial mechanics and on pharmacokinetics and radionuclide imaging of tissue uptake and perfusion in normal, ischemic and hyperemic regions of the heart with novel technetium-99m labeled ligands. In earlier studies, we have reported on features of fluorcarbon-based artificial blood and on the potential for F-19 NMR technology to image in vivo oxygen concentration of certain compartments and tissues. TISSUE BIOMECHANICS: For more than 3 decades, tissue mechanical studies of blood vessels and heart muscle combined with fluid dynamics studies have been integral to my studies of the cardiovascular system. Characterization of soft tissue (e.g., heart muscle) responses to acute and chronic loss of blood supply or to the action of cardiovascular drugs (e.g., cardiac inotropic agents, vasodilators, calcium channel blocking agents) has yielded important data of tissue responses to ischemia and ischemia-reperfusion (i.e., "heart attacks") and to the capacity of the heart to generate new blood vessel growth (angiogenesis). MEMBRANE TECHNOLOGY APPLIED TO BIOMEDICINE: We are just completing in 2012 a decade-long NSF-funded IGERT training program for graduate students in pursuit of doctoral degrees with bio-applications of membrane science and technology. This program succeeded a Whitaker Foundation funded UC Center for Cardiovascular Biomaterials which I directed from 1993 - an interdisciplinary program promoting collaborative research within and between faculty and graduate students at the University of Cincinnati & Case Western Reserve University. CARDIOVASCULAR MECHANISMS OF DRUG ACTION: For more a substantial part of my professional career I have focused on understanding the direct mechanisms of important cl


  • Bachelor of Science (BS): Tufts University, 1963
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): Boston University, 1969

Post Graduate Training/Education

  • NIH-HLBI Post-Doctoral Fellow (Individual Award):
    1969-1970, University of Washington,, Seattle, Washington, USA, Cardiovascular System Biology Research, Physiology, Biomedical Engineering, FM Telemetry, Antarctic Biology Expedition-Cardiovascular Physiology of Icefish, Penguins, and Giant Fulmars:
  • AHA Post-Doctoral Fellow (Individual):
    1970-1971, University of Washington,, Seattle, Washington, USA, Cardiovascular Systems, Physiology, Biomedical Engineering, Continuing Education, Physiology of Hibernation, Control of Renal Circulation, FM Telemetry, Environment Sciences Education-Continuing Education Course for K-12 teachers:
  • NIH-HLBI Post-Doctoral Fellow (Individual):
    1971-1972, Scripps Clinic & Research Foundation and University of California at San Diego,, La Jolla, California, USA, Biomedical Engineering, Internal Medicine, Physiology, Pharmacology, FM Telemetry, Cardiovascular Systems, Large Animal Models of Human Disease:
  • Fellow, American Council on Education, 1983
  • Fellow, Basic Science Council-American Heart Association, 2011
  • Senior Fulbright Fellow (CIES), 1972


  • Fellow, American Council on Education, 1983
  • Fellow, Basic Science Council-American Heart Association, 2011
  • Senior Fulbright Fellow (CIES), 1972

Current Research:

  • 1005224 National Science Foundation. NSF REU EEC-0647677 Provide summer research training opportunities for 12 undergraduate science and engineering students with faculty mentors in Colleges of Engineering, Medicine, Pharmacy and Arts and Sciences. - Grant, Active.
  • 1005440 American Society of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics. ASPET Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Sciences To provide hands-on research and professional development experiences under faculty, graduate student and research scientist supervision in active biomedical research programs focused on new knowledge discovery. Five undergraduate research trainees selected for 10 week program each summer (typically >200 applicants). - Grant, PI, Active.
  • National Science Foundation. IGERT: Bio-Applications of Membrane Science and Technology Design/ deliver an integrated graduate education and research training (IGERT) program centered on pharmaceutical, bio-sensor, and biomedical applications of membrane science. - Grant, co-PI, Completed.
  • National Institutes of Health-Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.. A Novel Approach to Enhance Cell Therapy for Myocardial Regeneration. - Grant, Co-I, Active.
  • 1R01HL110740-01 NAtional institutes of Health-Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.. iPS cells-derived progenitor cells for angiomyogenesis. To examine strategies by which pluripotent stem cells might be directed to a cell lineage leading to the growth of new blood vessels which connect to the exisiting coronary arterial circulation and thereby provide nutrients and oxygen supporting heart tissue regeneration after an induced heart attack. - Grant, Co-I, Active.
  • 1 R01 HL114654-01 National Institutes of Health-Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.. MicroRNA as mediators of angiogenesis & ischemic myocardial repair. To determine the roles of selected micro-RNAs expressed in native cells and transferred to pluirpotent stem cells in the generation of new blood vessels and in heart tissue repair after myocardial ischemic and infarction in experimental models. - Grant, Co-I
  • National Institutes of Health – National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells in Regeneration of Functional Cardiac Tissue. To explore the potential use of genetically engineered pluripotent stem cells to create functional cardiac tissue to replace or regenerate tissue lost after coronary artery occlusion and subsequent myocardial ischemic and infarction. - Grant, Co-I, Active.
  • SRS 00571 American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Summer Undergraduate Fellowship Training Program, PI, Closed.
  • DGE 0333377 National Science Foundation. Bio-Applications of Membrane Science and Technology, Collaborator, Closed.
  • 0139438 National Science Foundation. Research Experience for Undergraduates Site Program in Membrane Applied Science and Technology, PI, Closed.
  • 1-R43-HL-56497-01-A1-S0-E0 National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. SBIR Phase II: New Electrocautery Device Testing, PI, Closed.
  • EEC-0647677 National Science Foundation. Research Experience for Undergraduates Site Program in Membrane Applied Science and Technology, PI, Closed.
  • R01 HL089824 National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. A Novel Approach to Enhance Cell Therapy for Myocardial Regeneration, Collaborator, Active.
  • OHC-09-042 National Endowment for the Humanities. Darwin and Evolution - Evidence and Impact on Society, PI, Closed.
  • CK 25065 American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. ASPFT Surf Program, PI, Active.
  • R01 HL110740 National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. iPS Cells-Derived Progenitor Cells for Angiomyogenesis, Collaborator, Active.
  • R01HL114654 National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. MicroRNA as Mediators of Angiogenesis and Ischemic Myocardial Repair, Collaborator, Active.

Recent Awards/Honors:

  • Pre-Doctoral Fellowship (Biomedical Sciences):. Tuition and Scholarship Support as Full-time Graduate Student in Cardiovascular Biomedical Sciences at Boston University - Leading to Award of Doctor of Philosopy (PhD) Degree in 1969 under mentorship of Prof. Evangelos Angelakos: Fellowship. NIH-HLBI, National, 1964,1969
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship:. Individual Award for Post-doctoral Research Training in Physiology and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine under mentorship of Dr. Robert L. Van Citters - Using FM Telemetry Systems to Study Cardiovascular Biology in Health and Disease; Antactic Biology Expedition to Study Cardiovascular Systems of Icefish, Giant Fulmars, and Penguins in collabroation with Prof. Kjell Johansen under the sponsorship of the National Sciences Foundation: Fellowship. NIH-HLBI, National, 1969,1970
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow:. Individaual Award to Support Cardiovascular Research at the University of Washington School of Medicine under the Sponsorship of Dr. Robert L. Van Citters - Using FM Telemetry in Study of Circulation During Hibernation; Mentored HS Teacher During Summer; Designed and Directed Continuing Education Course in Environmental Education for 100 K-12 teachers: Fellowship. American Heart Association (Northwest Affiliate), Regional, 1970,1971
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow:. Individual Fellowship for Study under the sponsorship of Prof. Dean Franklin at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation and the Unverisity of California at San Diego - to Acquire Expertise in FM Telemetry Systems, Cardiovascular Physiology and Pharmacology, and Large Animal Models for Study of Heart and Circulation Responses to Exercise, Autonomic Nervous System, and Coronary Artery Disease: Fellowship. NIH-HLBI, National, 1971,1972
  • Fulbright Senior Fellow:. CIES award to Study at the University of Aarhus, Denmark under the sponsorship of Prof. Kjell Johansen - Conduct Research in Comparative Vertebrate Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systems: Grant. Council for the International Exchange of Scholars-Fulbright Association-US Department of State:, International, 1972,1973
  • Senior Research Fellow:. Individual Heart Research Fellowship to Conduct Cardiovascular and Electrophysiological Cardiac Research at the Maine Medical Center mentored by Dr. Clifford Nelson: Fellowship. American Heart Association (National):, National, 1973,1974
  • ACE Fellow:. Individual American Council on Education Fellowship supporting Internship in University Admininstration mentored by President Henry Winkler and Provost Joseph Steger at the University of Cincinnati; Organized "Best Practices in College and Department Leadership at UC" Conference: Fellowship. American Council on Education, Washington, DC, USA:, National, 1982,1983

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