Joseph Miller – The Road from RN to MD

The Division of Nephrology bids a fond farewell to Joseph B. Miller, who will be entering the University of California Riverside School of Medicine (UCR SOM), class of 2021. Joseph, an RN, has worked as a research technician in the laboratory of Professor of Medicine Jeffrey Miner, PhD, FASN, for the past year and a half.

“Joseph’s time in the lab over the last 18 months has flown by way too quickly,” says Dr. Miner. “His technical expertise, dedication, organizational skills, cheeriness, and talent for baking will be sorely missed. Having come into the lab with lots of knowledge but little bench experience, he accomplished a great deal, thanks in part to his diverse experience as a nurse.”

“Attending UCR SOM will be a return home for me as I grew up about 30 miles from UC Riverside and lived in Southern California my entire life before moving to St. Louis,” says Joseph. He received his Associate Degree in Nursing from Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, in 2010, and his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA, in 2015. During those five years, Joseph worked as a nurse at San Antonio Regional Hospital in Upland, CA, mainly in critical care (ICU/CCU).

Joseph moved to St. Louis in May 2015 to attend classes at Washington University as part of the Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program and began looking for a research position to complement his clinical experience. Meei-Hua Lin, PhD, instructor of one of Joseph’s classes, and who is a Senior Scientist in the Miner laboratory, introduced Joseph to Dr. Miner. “Joseph was the best student I’ve had in the Cell Biology class in the past 10 years,” says Dr. Lin. “Joseph is very dedicated and very smart. He was always willing to do whatever was needed in the lab and got along with everyone.”

Joseph worked with Dr. Lin on several projects as he learned the ins and outs of research benchwork. In the summer of 2016, Joseph participated in the NIH-funded Summer Student Research Experience investigating a potential novel therapy for Alport syndrome while he applied to medical school. Most recently, Joseph has been managing a project investigating another potential therapy for Alport syndrome in collaboration with a pharmaceutical company.

“Working for Jeff has been an amazing experience that has given me a new appreciation for the amount of time and effort that goes into identifying and validating new therapies for human diseases,” says Joseph. “Jeff was a great research mentor who provided opportunities for learning and growth and entrusted me with projects as my skills and knowledge grew. All the members of the Miner lab, and the entire nephrology division for that matter, have been wonderful to work with and learn from. Everyone has been extremely generous in sharing their knowledge and expertise.”

Joseph is excited to embark on his medical career, and wants to eventually work as an Intensivist after training in either internal medicine or anesthesiology. “I hope that my journey in medicine will bring me back to Washington University School of Medicine at some point in the future.”

So do we, Joseph. Good luck and best wishes!