Joshua Milner, MD, to Lead Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology at Columbia, NewYork-Presbyterian

Joshua Milner, MD, an internationally renowned physician-scientist from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) whose research has uncovered the genetic underpinnings of allergic diseases in children, has been named chief of the Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology in the Department of Pediatrics at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and professor of pediatrics in the Institute for Genomic Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Dr. Milner will also serve as chief of the allergy, immunology, and rheumatology services at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

Joshua Milner, MD (CUIMC)

He will assume both roles on Nov. 1, 2019.

“As a pediatric immunologist, I firmly believe that immunology touches most disciplines in medicine and may well be the most important underlying element connecting so many diseases affecting children,” said Jordan S. Orange, MD, PhD, the Reuben S. Carpentier Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and pediatrician-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. “A highly respected leader in the field of pediatric immunology, Dr. Milner will strengthen our clinical, research, and educational programs throughout the Department of Pediatrics, our children’s hospital, and our entire clinical and academic network. It signifies our commitment to providing the highest quality of care while leading in innovation as Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian have throughout our history.”  

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Milner to NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital as the leader of our allergy, immunology, and rheumatology services,” said Craig Albanese, MD, senior vice president and chief operating officer of NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. “Dr. Milner is a gifted clinician and renowned researcher. His expertise in pediatric immunologic diseases will help to expand our services and bolster our mission to provide the most innovative, compassionate care to our patients.”

Dr. Milner’s work has probed some of the basic immunological mechanisms driving allergic diseases and other types of immune dysfunction. His research led to the discovery of primary atopic disorders, a group of genetic disorders that cause immune-system dysfunction and predispose individuals to develop allergic conditions, ranging from severe hives to eczema to food allergies. 

One such disorder, PLAID, triggers an allergic reaction to cold temperatures. Another, PGM3 deficiency, leads to several types of severe allergies and infections beginning in childhood.

“Dr. Milner’s research has brought some of the most rare and lethal pediatric immunologic diseases into the spotlight,” said Fred Modell, co-founder of the Jeffrey Modell Foundation, which has established a JMF diagnostic and research center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center that will be led by Dr. Milner. “His new appointment will transform Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian into a regional destination for the diagnosis and treatment of children with rare immunologic diseases,” added Vicki Modell, co-founder of the foundation.

“Allergic diseases are extremely common in children, but only recently have we begun to appreciate the immunologic and genetic complexity of even the mildest of these diseases,” said Dr. Milner. “I welcome the opportunity to join Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian, where a unique ecosystem of researchers, physicians, and a diverse patient population offers the opportunity to continue this important research and develop new therapeutic approaches for children with allergic diseases.

“I am also excited about conducting this work in a department led by Dr. Orange, a renowned pediatric allergist and immunologist who appreciates the importance of using immunology to better understand allergic, immunodeficiency, and rheumatologic diseases,” Dr. Milner continued. 

In addition to continuing his research, Dr. Milner will see pediatric patients and perform clinical training and mentorship to students, residents, fellows, and junior faculty. His division will also be home to the allergy/immunology fellowship at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, which was previously administered by the Department of Medicine.

Previously, Dr. Milner led a team of researchers investigating the genetics and pathogenesis of allergies in the Laboratory of Allergic Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases  (NIAID) of the NIH, which he joined as a tenure-track investigator in 2009. In 2013, he was appointed senior investigator in the NIAID Laboratory of Allergic Diseases and in 2017, Dr. Milner was named chief of the laboratory, where he directed several clinical and research programs in pediatric allergy, including an esteemed fellowship program.

Dr. Milner earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, with special distinction in immunology. He completed a residency in pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., followed by a fellowship in allergy and immunology at NIAID with the late William E. Paul. 

Dr. Milner is board-certified in allergy and immunology. He has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and the Henry Kunkel Society. He has received numerous awards, including two NIH Director’s Awards, two NIAID Merit Awards, the 2015 Phadia Allergy Research Forum Award, the 2017 Gale and Ira Drukier Prize in children’s health research, and the Society for Pediatric Research’s 2019 E. Mead Johnson Award. He has published more than 100 papers and serves on the editorial boards of numerous scientific journals.