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About Sickkids
About SickKids

September 17, 2019

New elementary school named after SickKids scientist

Dr. Freda Miller, a scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) Research Institute, will soon have a new elementary school named after her.

Dr. Miller is a Senior Scientist in the Neurosciences & Mental Health Program, and an alumna of the Calgary public school system. The school, which is currently under construction in southwest Calgary, will be called the Dr. Freda Miller School, and is expected to open in September 2020.

“It is an honour to have a school named after me, especially in my hometown," says Dr. Miller. "I believe education is the answer to many of society’s challenges and I hope that this helps inspire the next generation’s curiosity and enthusiasm for science."

Dr. Freda Miller

Dr. Miller is an accomplished cell and molecular neurobiologist, best known for her studies of neural and dermal stem cells and of neuronal growth, survival and death.

Major findings from her laboratory have provided evidence that human skin contains a stem cell important for wound healing and skin integrity that can be used to repair skin, that the p75 neurotrophin receptor mediates neuronal death and axon degeneration, and that one way genetic disorders cause cognitive dysfunction is by disturbing how stem cells build the brain and nervous system. She also discovered that metformin, a drug commonly used to treat Type II diabetes, can help trigger the pathway used to instruct stem cells in the brain to become nerve cells.

Dr. Miller is a Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. She is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Research Scholar, Canada Research Chair in Developmental Neurobiology, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The Board of Trustees of the Calgary Board of Education approved the name for the school, recognizing Dr. Miller for her seminal scientific discoveries over the course of her career. The Dr. Freda Miller School will serve students in kindergarten to Grade 4 when it opens next year. Learn more about the new school.