Miller Gift Brings New Technology to Kellogg
Microscopes advance entire Kellogg research program
A generous gift of $1 million from Leonard “Larry” G. Miller, of Orchard Lake, Michigan, will allow the W.K. Kellogg Eye Center to purchase a high quality confocal laser-scanning microscope and a multiphoton confocal laser-scanning microscope for its research program. Both technologies offer great advantages over traditional optical microscopy, allowing scientists to view tissue and cellular activity at the molecular level at very high resolution.
“Kellogg is building impressive research facilities,” Miller says, “and having the best technology available is important. My hope is that the microscopes will help the eye center continue to recruit top scientists and empower all of the faculty members to do their best research.”
Confocal microscope systems use lasers and a spatial filtering technique to enable the very precise examination of cells, while a multiphoton confocal microscope and corresponding software system allow researchers to image thick tissues such as the cornea and retina.
According to Paul Lichter, M.D., director of the Kellogg Eye Center and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, the new technology “has the potential to greatly increase the speed with which discoveries are made and scientific advances happen. We are grateful for Mr. Miller’s dedication to vision.”
This is Miller’s second gift to Kellogg; in 2005, he made a leadership gift of $1 million toward Kellogg’s expansion effort. Kellogg Eye Center will name its new comprehensive ophthalmology clinic for Miller to recognize his commitment to visual science at Michigan.
Miller, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from the University of Michigan, was a founding partner of Molmec Inc., a major supplier of molded plastic components for the automotive industry. The company, located in Walled Lake, Michigan, manufactured trim pieces, door handles, fasteners, fans and shrouds, as well as carburetors and timing gears for small engines. When the company was sold in 1997, it had grown to 1,000 employees and five manufacturing plants in Michigan.
“Eyesight is such a critical part of our lives,” Miller says. “I’m pleased to be able to make research possible — and better.” His generosity is the result of gratitude for what he calls the “lucky coincidence” of meeting Lichter just after Miller developed double vision, and his subsequent successful treatment.
Born in Birmingham, Michigan, Miller served as mayor of Orchard Lake in 1988 and later on the village planning commission. He also served on the board of the Detroit chapter of the Society of Plastics Engineers and on advisory committees at Eastern Michigan University and Ferris State University. Miller’s parents and sister also graduated from the U-M.
—COMPILED BY RICK KRUPINSKI