Lea Vacca Michel
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.
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, with surprising results (Vaccine 2011, 29: 1624-1627). Currently, we are finishing work on P6 and are starting the characterization of other protein vaccine candidates. We perform our research in collaboration with Dr. Michael Pichichero, a pediatrician and the Director of the Research Institute at Rochester General Hospital.
Peterson JE, Zurakowski D, Italiano JE, Michel LV, Connors S, Oenick M, DâAmato 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.