Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR, FAOTA
Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR, FAOTA

Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR, FAOTA


Dr. Miller is founder and Clinical Director, STAR (Sensory Therapies and Research) Center, Greenwood Village, Colorado, an Associate Clinical Professor, Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, Professor, Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, Doctoral Programs in Pediatrics, Provo, Utah, and founder and Research Director, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Foundation, Greenwood Village, Colorado. (Retrieved on July 13, 2015 from http://spdstar.org/files/2011/12/MillerAbbreviatedCV15.pdf.)  As an occupational therapist and research scientist, Dr. Miller's mission is  studying the validity of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and evaluating the effectiveness of occupational therapy in changing  occupational outcomes in children with SPD and other neurodevelopmental and behavioral conditions.

AOTF awarded Dr. Miller the A. Jean Ayres Research Award In 1992.  Dr. Miller was the recipient of the American Occupational Therapy Association's highest award, the Award of Merit, in 2004 and named her one of the 100 Influential People in Occupational Therapy.


Identify three words that others have used to describe you.
Persistent, Focused, Committed.

How do you hope to make a difference in the world through research?
I hope to improve the quality of care for the clients that we serve by improving the quality of OT assessments and interventions.

What is one piece of advice you have for individuals considering a career in science and research?
Find a strong mentor.

Beside your own areas of inquiry, what is one research priority that you believe is important for the future of occupational science and occupational therapy?
PCORI emphasis on comparative effectiveness studies.

Describe the most important role that mentors played in your professional journey.  
Mentors have both challenged and supported me in exploring research ideas and methodologies.

Identify a favorite occupation that renews you outside of your work.
I enjoy racquetball as an enjoyable aerobic exercise and an opportunity to be competitive with persons much younger than me!

What has been the most surprising or rewarding aspects of a career in science and research?
The most surprising aspect has been the fact that so many people have cited my early research on the measurement of grip and pinch strength. The most rewarding aspect has been the fact that my research has helped change OT assessments and interventions for the better! I believe that it has improved the quality of care that we provide to our clients. In addition, the opportunity to mentor future researchers and academicians has been very rewarding.


Miller, LJ, Nielsen, DM & Schoen SA.  (2012). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and sensory modulation disorder: a comparison of behavior and physiology. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33, 804-818.

Schoen, SA, Miller, LJ & Sullivan JC.  (2014). Measurement in sensory modulation: the sensory processing scale assessment. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68, 522-530.

Sullivan, JC, Miller, LJ, Nielsen, DM & Schoen SA.  (2014). The presence of migraines and its association with sensory hyperreactivity and anxiety symptomatology in children with autism spectrum disorder. Autism, 18, 743-747. 

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