Lea Michel Headshot

Lea Michel

Associate Professor
School of Chemistry and Materials Science
College of Science

585-475-4273
Office Location

Lea Michel

Associate Professor
School of Chemistry and Materials Science
College of Science

Bio

Lea Vacca Michel, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the School of Chemistry and Materials Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Currently, her work is focused on dual oriented bacterial lipoproteins and crystallin proteins, which are localized in the eye lens. Dr. Michel is the Chair of the Women in Science program at RIT, Director of the Rochester Project SEED program, and Director of the Research Strand for the HHMI-funded Inclusive Excellence program at RIT. 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 was recently featured in an article that appeared in Nature (Nature 558, 149-151 (2018)).

https://www.rit.edu/research/ipmo/companies/licensing (Sepsis Diagnosis via PAL. . .)

For more information, please visit the Lea Michel Research Group website.

585-475-4273

Areas of Expertise
biochemistry
biophysics
protein vaccines
structural biology
protein biochemistry
bacterial proteins

Currently Teaching

CHEM-790
1 - 6 Credits
Dissertation research by the candidate for an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
CHMG-146
1 Credits
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-142 lecture material. The course emphasizes the use of experiments as a tool for chemical analysis and the reporting of results in formal lab reports. Topics include the quantitative analysis of a multicomponent mixture using complexation and double endpoint titration, pH measurement, buffers and pH indicators, the kinetic study of a redox reaction, and the electrochemical analysis of oxidation reduction reactions.
CHEM-495
1 - 3 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research involving laboratory work, computer modeling, or theoretical calculations that could be considered of an original nature. The level of study is appropriate for students in their final two years of study.
CHEM-493
1 - 3 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research in chemistry that could be considered of an original nature.
CHEM-301
1 - 3 Credits
This course allows students to assist in a class or laboratory for which they have previously earned credit. The student will assist the instructor in the operation of the course. Assistance by the student may include fielding questions, helping in workshops, and assisting in review sessions. In the case of labs, students may also be asked to help with supervising safety practices, waste manifestation, and instrumentation.
CHMB-402
3 Credits
This course introduces the structure and function of biological macromolecules and their metabolic pathways. The relationship between the three-dimensional structure of proteins and their function in enzymatic catalysis will be examined. Membrane structure and the physical laws that apply to metabolic processes will also be discussed.
CHEM-780
1 - 4 Credits
Chemistry project accomplished by the MS student for an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the project advisor.
CHMB-405
3 Credits
An introduction to the theory and practice of modern experimental biochemical laboratory techniques and concepts. The weekly two-hour lecture provides a theoretical framework for the course and includes a discussion of the properties of biomolecules and how those properties are exploited in the separation and characterization of the molecules. Practical laboratory techniques include the preparation of buffers, centrifugation, chromatography, electrophoretic methods, and UV-visible spectrophotometry as applied to the isolation and characterization of proteins and nucleic acids. The manipulation of genetic material in E. coli will also be executed. This course will be offered in a writing intensive format where the students will write and submit the different sections found in scientific papers (abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, conclusions, references, figures, tables) in an iterative fashion that will include regular feedback from the instructor.
CHMB-495
1 - 3 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research involving laboratory work, computer modeling, or theoretical calculations that could be considered of an original nature. The level of study is appropriate for students in their final two years of study.
CHMB-493
1 - 3 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research in biochemistry that could be considered of an original nature.
CHMB-403
3 Credits
This course will focus on advanced topics in biochemistry, using hands-on activities, in-class discussions, and review of relevant literature to explore the theory and applications behind current biochemical methods and concepts.
CHMB-240
3 Credits
This course will focus on the application of biochemical knowledge to the field of medicine. Students will learn the basic functions of water, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids in humans, then explore implications of this knowledge in nutrition and metabolism and its relationship to health and disease.
CHEM-799
1 - 3 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed tutorial of appropriate topics that are not part of the formal curriculum. The level of study is appropriate for a masters-level student.

Latest News

Select Scholarship

Journal Paper
Michel, Lea V, et al. "Intranasal Coinfection Model Allows for Assessment of Protein Vaccines Against Nontypeable Haemophilus Influenzae in Mice." Journal of Medical Microbiology 67. (2018): 1527-1532. Web.
Gehret, Austin, Jessica Trussell, and Lea Vacca Michel. "Approaching Undergraduate Research with Students who are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing." Journal of Science Education for Students with Disabilities. (2017): 1-20. Web.
Michel, Lea Vacca, et al. "Dual orientation of the outer membrane lipoprotein Pal in Escherichia coli." Microbiology 161. (2015): 1251-1259. Print.
Michel, Lea Vacca, et al. "Dual Orientation of the Outer Membrane Lipoprotein P6 of Nontypeable Haemophilus Influenzae." Journal of Bacteriology 195. (2013): 3252-3259. Print.
Craig, Paul A, Lea Vacca Michel, and Robert C Bateman. "A Survey of Educational Uses of Molecular Visualization Freeware." Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education 41. (2013): 193-205. Print.
Peterson, Jon E, et al. "VEGF, PF4 and PDGF are Elevated in Platelets of Colorectal Cancer Patients." Angiogenesis 15. (2012): 265-273. Print.
Chang, Arthur, et al. "Haemophilus Influenzae Vaccine Candidate Outer Membrane Protein P6 is not Conserved in All Strains." Human Vaccines 7. (2011): 102-105. Print.
Michel, Lea Vacca, et al. "Vaccine Candidate P6 of Nontypable Haemophilus Influenzae is not an Outer Membrane Protein Based on Protein Structural Analysis." Vaccine 29. (2011): 1624-1627. Print.
Provisional Patent
Michel, Lea Vacca and Judith Hellman. "Diagnosing Sepsis by Detecting Peptidoglycan Associated Lipoprotein (Pal) in urine." U.S. Provisional Patent Application 62/757211. 8 Nov. 2018.
Full Patent
Pichichero, Michael, et al. "Compositions and methods related to P6." U.S. Patent 9101568. 11 Aug. 2015.
Published Article
eterson J.E., D. Zurakowski, J.E. Italiano, L.V. Michel, L. Fox, G.L. Klement, J. Folkman. “Normal ranges of angiogenesis regulatory proteins in human platelets.” American Journal of Hematology, 85 (2010): 487-493. Print. *