Clem O. Miller, 81, a former government official and professor of bio-chemistry, died Friday at Fairfax Hospital after an apparent heart attack.

Dr. Miller served as an executive secretary in the research fellowship section of the research and training branch of the National Institutes of Health from 1961 to 1963. In this position he helped process applications for individual grants for research in such fields as anatomy, biostatistics, pathology, endocrinology and the bio-physical sciences.

He then joined the Food and Drug Administration as coordinator of scientific committees in the office of the assistant commissioner, and later served as coordinator of the foreign visitors program from 1970 until he retired in 1976.

Dr. Miller moved here in 1957, and was executive secretary of the chemistry and chemical technology division of the National Academy of Sciences until 1961.

Dr. Miller was an expert in the fields of synthetic drugs, endocrines, and medicinal chemistry. He had published more than a dozen papers on such topics as the chemistry of carbohydrates and proteins in liquid ammonia, and on the metabolism of glucuronic acid and Vitamin C.

He was born in New Lisbon, Ind., and earned a bachelor's degree at Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind. He earned a doctorate in chemistry at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Miller taught at several universities, including the University of Chicago where he was a chemistry instructor from 1924 to 1928, and Northwestern University Medical School where he was an assistant professor of biochemistry from 1928 to 1936.

He worked in private industry in the Midwest for many years before moving to this area.

Dr. Miller was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Chemists, the American Chemical Society, the American Pharmaceutical Association, and the Cosmos Club.

He is survived by his wife, Sara Beahm Miller, of the home in Falls Church; two daughters, Evelyn Sullivan, of Milwaukee, annd Marianne Speicher, of Youngstown, Ohio; a son, Dr. Philip, of San Diego; and seven grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to Manchester College, North Manchester, Ind., 46962.