Lea Vacca Michel, Ph.D. is a Professor in the School of Chemistry and Materials Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology. In 2022, she was named the College's first Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Currently, her research is focused on the role of proteins in disease. Dr. Michel is a proud member of RIT's Women in Science (WISe) program (former Chair of WISe), a mentor for the Rochester Project SEED program (former Director), member of the Rochester ACS Women Chemists Committee (WCC), Director of the Research Strand for the HHMI-funded Inclusive Excellence program at RIT, and a member of ASBMB's Maximizing Access Committee (incoming Chair). She strives to increase the participation of women and underrepresented minorities (including those who are deaf and hard-of-hearing) in science and math. Dr. Michel is also the Director of Experiments for the SMASH Experience for Middle School Girls, led by Dr. Kara Maki (School of Mathematical Sciences). Dr. Michel was featured in articles in Nature (Nature 558, 149-151, 2018) and Chemistry World magazine (Chemistry World, Careers, 21 December 2020), and she was awarded the 2022 ASBMB Early-Career Leadership Award (ASBMB Today article) and the 2023 ChemCUR Outstanding Mentor Award from the Chemistry Division and the Council on Undergraduate Research.
For more information, please visit the Lea Michel Research Group website.
In the News
February 10, 2023
RIT-Rochester Prep High School Partnership gives students a preview of college
Plastic pollutants, the coronavirus, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the strength of nanowires, and why freshly cut grass smells the way it does—these are some of the topics students from Rochester Prep High School explored during a mentorship program with RIT faculty. They shared their projects and new perspectives during the RIT-Rochester Prep Capstone Showcase held Feb. 6 at RIT.
February 1, 2023
Community members commit to diversity and inclusion
People from across the university are helping RIT make substantial progress on the initiatives laid out in the Action Plan for Race and Ethnicity. Launched in July 2021, the plan unveiled an extensive series of initiatives designed to make RIT more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
September 18, 2022
First RIT college-level director of diversity, equity and inclusion
The College of Science announces Dr. Lea Vacca Michel, associate professor in the School of Chemistry and Materials Science, as the first RIT college-level director of diversity, equity and inclusion.
September 22, 2021
Team wins grant to help diagnose sepsis
September 7, 2021
Michel wins leadership award
August 12, 2021
Student receives national scholarship