Becca Miceli

Ph.D. Candidate

Headshot of graduate student Becca Miceli


I joined the department of chemistry at RPI in fall 2019 after completing my B.A. in biochemistry at Wheaton College (MA). As an NIH NIGMS T32 trainee, I became co-advised in the Dordick group in the fall 2021.  My research interests include drug discovery and oncology. In my free time I enjoy spending time outside with my puppy Tupper, cooking, and playing board games with friends.


BA in Biochemistry at Wheaton College 

PhD Candidate in the department of Chemistry and Biological Chemistry


Research Interests:

I am currently studying the molecular engineering of multiple natural products to assess their biological activity against breast cancer.  I work with two biosurfactants, surfactin, sophorolipid, and an antimicrobial compound called piscidin 3. My research includes synthetic modification and characterization of libraries of compounds, as well as running in vitro biological assays against tumorigenic and non-tumorigenic breast derived cells. I determine half-maximal inhibitory concentrations, selectivity indices, and structure-activity relationships between my compound libraries and multiple breast cancer cell lines.


Wang, X.; Amason, A. C.; Miceli, R. T.; He, P.; Lei, Y.; Gabbard, R.; Wieland, J. A.; Linhardt, R. J.; Corr, D. T.; Gross, R. A. Biobased Diglycidyl Ether Diphenolates: Effect of the Ester Moiety on Fragrance Oil Microencapsulation by Interfacial Polymerization.Colloids Surfaces A Physicochem. Eng. Asp.2022, 648 (March), 129243.

Miceli, T. R.;Corr, T. D.; Barroso, M. M.; Dogra, N.; Gross, A. R. Sophorolipids : Anti-Cancer Activities and Mechanisms. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2022, 65 (February).

Roberge, C. L.;Miceli, R. T.;Murphy, L. R.; Kingsley, D. M.; Gross, R. A.; Corr, D. T. Sophorolipid Candidates Demonstrate Cytotoxic Efficacy Against 2D And 3D Breast Cancer Models. bioRxiv Prepr. 2022. Accepted with revisions at ACS Journal of Natural Products

Miceli, Rebecca T.; Totsingan, Filbert; Naina, Tasnim; Islam, Samita; Dordick, Jonathan S.; Corr, David T.; Gross, Richard A.* Molecularly engineered surfactin analogues induce nonapoptotic-like cell death and increased selectivity in multiple breast cancer cell types. Accepted at ACS Omega 02/22/2023.

Awards and Honors:

Completed the NIH Responsible Conduct of Research course (Spring 2023)                                                                 

Regeneron Poster Expo: “Titer Developments for Anti-COVID mAbs” Best Technical Poster Award (August 2022)        

Rensselaer Graduate Symposium Poster, “Molecular engineering of surfactin analogues to treat breast cancer”  Runner-Up for Best Overall Poster (May 2022)                                                                                                              

Chemical  Biology and  Physiology  Conference  Poster:  “Molecular  engineering  of surfactin analogues to treat breast cancer” Best Virtual Poster Award (April 2022)                                                                                                     

American Chemical Society Poster: “Molecular engineering of surfactin analogues to treat breast cancer” (March 2022)                                                                                                                                                                                 

NIH Resilient Scientist (Spring 2021)                                                                                                                            

NIH NIGMS Training Fellowship T32, recipient (August 2020 – August 2022)       

NIGMS Fellowship Retreat Poster: “Molecular Engineering of Surfactin Analogues to TreatSARS-CoV-2 and Breast Cancers” (December 2020)   

Alpha Epsilon Delta Honors Society (2017-2019)                                                                                                           

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