Lea Vacca Michel

Assistant Professor

Contact Information

OfficeGOS 2278
Phone(585) 475-4273
Fax(585) 475-7800

Mailing Address

Department of Chemistry
Building 08 (Gosnell)
85 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623

Lea Vacca Michel received her B.A. in Physics and Math from Colgate University. She received her Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Rochester under the advisement of Dr. Kara Bren (Department of Chemistry) where she studied the structure, function, and dynamics of c-heme proteins using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and other biochemical techniques. Lea completed a postdoc with Dr. Linda Nicholson at Cornell University where she used NMR spectroscopy to study the dynamics of a protein proposed to be involved in the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Research Interests

Nontypable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) causes otitis media (ear infection), sinusitis, and acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis. The outer membrane lipoprotein P6, discovered 30 years ago, is currently one of the leading protein vaccine candidates for NTHi. Although P6 has been studied for its immunological properties, not much is known about its structural orientation or localization in NTHi. Therefore, we used structural and biochemical techniques to elucidate the orientation of P6 in the outer membrane of NTHi (Vaccine 2011, 29: 1624-1627). During this work, we discovered that P6 is inserted into the outer membrane of NTHi in TWO orientations, a novel finding with important biological implications (J Bacteriology 2013, 195: 3252-3259). We perform our research in collaboration with Dr. Michael Pichichero, a pediatrician and the Director of the Research Institute at Rochester General Hospital.

Selected Publications

Michel LV, *Snyder J, *Schmidt R, *Milillo J, *Grimaldi K, *Kalmeta B, Khan N, Sharma S, Wright LK, Pichichero ME (2013) Dual orientation of the outer membrane lipoprotein P6 of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, J Bacteriology 195: 3252-3259.

Craig PA, Michel LV, Bateman RC (2013)A Survey of Educational Uses of Molecular Visualization Freeware, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 41: 193-205.

Peterson JE, Zurakowski D, Italiano JE, Michel LV, Connors S, Oenick M, D’Amato RJ, Klement GL, Folkman MJ (2012) VEGF, PF4 and PDGF are elevated in platelets of colorectal cancer patients, Angiogenesis 15: 265-273.

Michel LV, *Kalmeta B, *McCreary M, *Snyder J, Craig P, Pichichero ME (2011) Vaccine candidate P6 of nontypable Haemophilus influenzae is not a transmembrane protein based on protein structural analysis, Vaccine 29: 1624-1627.

Chang A, Kaur R, Michel LV, Casey JR, Pichichero ME (2011) Haemophilus influenzae vaccine candidate outer membrane protein P6 is not conserved in all strains, Hum Vaccines 7: 102-105.

Peterson JE, Zurakowski D, Italiano JE, Michel LV, Fox L, Klement GL, Folkman J (2010) Normal ranges of angiogenesis regulatory proteins in human platelets, Am J Hematology 85: 487-493.

Michel LV, Bren KL (2008) Submolecular unfolding units of Pseudomonas aeruginosa cytochrome c551, J Biol Inorg Chem 13: 837-845.

Ye T, Kaur R, Senguin FT, Michel LV, Bren KL, Elliott SJ (2008) Methionine ligand lability of type I cytochromes c: Detection of ligand loss using protein film voltammetry, J Am Chem Soc. 130: 6682-6683.

Michel LV, Ye T, Bowman, SEJ, Levin BD, Hahn MA, Russell BS, Elliott SJ, Bren KL (2007) Heme attachment motif mobility tunes cytochrome c redox potential, Biochemistry 46: 11753-11760.

*Undergraduate students