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Oral Histories

Radiologist Earl R. Miller, M.D.


Short Biography

Part I (August 9, 1994)

Wartime Work on Radiation Exposure

Remembrances of Joseph Hamilton

Neutron Therapy Research

Relations Between UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco

Working for the Manhattan Project and UC Medical Center

Process for Obtaining Radioactive Isotopes

Human Applications Committee and Informed Consent

Textbox: About Consent Forms (April 11, 1995)

Work With Soley to Diagnose and Treat Thyroid Disease With Iodine-131

Patient Consent; Contradicting Perceptions

Wartime Plutonium Injections

Hamilton's Research on Effects of Cyclotron-Produced Radioisotopes

Textbox: Dr. Joe Hamilton (April 21, 1995)

Research With Patients From Laguna Honda Home

Radioactive Iodine Uptake in Schizophrenia Patients

Recalling Dr. Joseph Hamilton

Invention of a Baby Holder (1951)

Technique to Produce Infinite Laminograms

Introduction of Stereoscopy to X-ray Film Making

Postwar Preference for Unclassified Research

Zirconium and Plutonium Injections

Research With Healthy Volunteers

Tracing the Records of Patient Consent

A Career in Research

Professional Contribution

Textbox: Recollections of Research Activities (April 11, 1995)

Remembrances of Personalities

Tension Between John Lawrence and Stone

Textbox: Robert Spencer Stone, M.D., L.L.D. (March 10, 1967)

Part II (August 17, 1994)

Use of Tomography to Diagnose Tuberculosis Patients

Textbox: History of Radiology, University of California at San Francisco, as Seen by Earl R. Miller, M.D. in the Mid 1980's

Working in the Radiological Research Laboratory

Investigating How Radiologists See Images

Establishment of the UCSF Radiation Laboratory

Remembrances of University Presidents Sproul and Kerr

Early Career

Work Through the AMA to Improve Radiology Training

Rise of Radiology Specialization

Study of Pediatric Patients With Congenital Heart Disease

Physiologic Studies


Brief History, Earl R. Miller, MD

E.R. Miller's Residency and Career at UC

Recollections of an Old Crock (March 16, 1978)

Activities of Earl R. Miller as Indicated by Published Material (April 22, 1995)

Chronological Bibliography

(Dr. Miller inserted the following textbox during the editing process.)

April 21, 1995

Dr. Joe Hamilton

I first met Joe when I was taken around the Berkeley Projects of the Manhattan District by Dr. Stafford Warren to introduce me to the people whose work I was to watch and monitor for radiation dangers

I learned that he ran the Donner Laboratory and was responsible for the running the 60 inch Cyclotron there. He collected the resulting radioisotopes for experimental use. His broad plan was to determine the distribution and fate of all the radioisotopes in the periodic table in animals with special attention to the transuranic elements.

He worked with Dr. Mayo Soley, internist from UCSF, on the distribution and fate of Iodine 131 in the bodies of animals. Their demonstration that this element was concentrated mainly in the thyroid led to the use of Iodine 31 as a tracer for thyroid function and as a means of treatment of hyperthyroidism and selected cases of cancer of the Thyroid. When Iodine 131 became available to me through the good auspices of Ken Scott, Mayo Soley and I collaborated for many years in the diagnosis of thyroid function and treatment of Hyperthyroidism and Cancer of the thyroid.

Joe had a small staff which included Ken Scott, a roly poly man with sharp mind and inventive bent. He was a great help to Joe Hamilton in carrying out his research and. Doing his own thing on the side.

I always visited The Donner on the two half days a week at I spent in Berkeley during the War. As director of Radiation Safety for the Manhattan Project mostly I carried a Geiger Counter and tried to point out areas of high radiation dangers to the staff. My other activities consisted of running the film badge programs, the routine blood count program.

The only time I visited Joe at his home was when he was dying. I always liked Joe and had great respect for him as a scientist.

I had my younger daughter with me on this visit and at it we met Leah Hamilton, Joe's wife. She was a fine artist who painted abstract non-representational paintings. Judy, my daughter about 10 years old, on seeing her paintings, asked her what she was doing. LeahÆs answer, "I fill space with color." I liked that and never forgot it.