New Calgary school named for world-renowned scientist Dr. Freda Miller

Freda Miller
Dr. Freda Miller

The Calgary Board of Education has announced a new elementary school being built in the community of Evergreen wil be named the Dr. Freda Miller School.  The school is expected to open in September 2020. Dr. Freda Miller’s name was chosen as she is a world-renowned scientist, whose seminal scientific discoveries have led to new therapic avenue to repair injured brains and skin using stem cells.  Dr. Miller also maintains strong ties to Calgary, which is home to most of her family: she is an alumna of the Calgary public school system, of the University of Calgary, and lives part-time in Canmore.

From the press release:

Dr. Miller is a cell and molecular developmental neurobiologist at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children and professor at the University of Toronto, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

She has made seminal scientific discoveries over the course of her career. Her discovery of stem cells in the second layer of the skin has provided the conceptual basis for using skin as a major source for genesis of human stem cells. The stem cells she discovered are critical for the repair of injured skin.

At the same time, Dr. Miller discovered new mechanisms determining whether nerve cells live or die, findings that initiated new fields of research and that have major implications for our understanding of neurodegenerative disorders.

Dr. Miller has made significant contributions to understanding how stem cells build the brain during normal development and how this goes awry in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. This led to her recent discovery that the commonly used diabetes drug metformin can be used to promote repair of the injured brain.

These outstanding discoveries have been widely recognized within the scientific community, and have led to clinical trials for therapies that “wake up” our own stem cells to repair the injured brain and skin.

Finally, 25 of the graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who trained in Dr. Miller’s laboratory now hold faculty positions at universities around the world.

Dr. Miller is a proud alumna of the Calgary public school system. She attended schools in Montgomery and Bowness for her primary and high school education and benefitted from the gifted program at Queen Elizabeth High School in her junior high years. She obtained her PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Calgary. She maintains strong ties to Calgary, which is still home to most of her family. She lives part time in Canmore.

Congratulations to the Calgary Board of Education on the choice of name – Dr. Freda Miller is a very inspiring scientist and role-model for young Calgarians.

Press release from the Calgary Board of Education: New School Named for World-Renowned Scientist Dr. Freda Miller

Article in the Calgary Herald: New elementary school in Calgary named after scientist