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Marcus T. Cicerone

Research Interests

  • Noninvasive Spectroscopic Imaging

In 2004 Dr. Cicerone and colleagues introduced the world’s first broadband coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscope (µ-CARS), and have since been working to develop this method for use in cells, tissues and biomaterials. This approach to microscopy provides sufficient chemical, spatial, and temporal resolution, coupled with low photo-toxicity, to noninvasively characterize cell and tissue phenotype, as well as material (natural or synthetic) substrates on which they reside.

Recently, Dr. Cicerone has begun to apply this approach to cells and tissues, demonstrating that spectra from µ-CARS can be used to characterize differentiation and disease state noninvasively.


  • Glass dynamics and application to stability of proteins in saccharide glasses

Cytokines and therapeutic proteins often require stabilization in sugar-based glasses for storage previous to use. In spite of significant economic importance (biopharmaceutical drugs accounted for $80B in sales in 2007), the mechanisms underlyinig the stabilizing effects of the sugar glass are not known.

Dr. Cicerone and colleagues were the first to show the central importance of high-frequency (beta) relaxations to stability of proteins in sugar-based glass. We are using this newfound understanding to develop a comprehensive understanding of protein stability in sugar-based glasses.

Dr. Cicerone has organized and is currently leading a team composed of seven NIST staff members and five academic labs who's goal is to definitively identify and develop measurements for the variables that are critical to protein stability in sugar-based glasses. The work will lead to deeper understanding of glassy dynamics, protein-solvent interactions, and reliable metrics for rational formulation of stable proteins. 


Awards and Honors

  • IBM Polymer Science & Technology Predoctoral Fellow - 1993
  • Johnson & Johnson Corporate Office of Research Directors Research Fellowship – 1998
  • US Dept. of Commerce Bronze Medal - 2008


Project Leader
Polymers Division
Biomaterials Group

Employment History:

2009-present: Project Leader, NIST Polymers Division

2006-2009: Biomaterials Group Leader, NIST Polymers Division

2001-2006: Staff Scientist, NIST Polymers Division

1999-2001: Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Brigham Young University

1996-1999: Senior Scientist Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics


Research Fellow, October 1995 - January 1996, Advisor - Prof. Hyuk Yu, Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Ph.D., Physical Chemistry and Polymer Physics, December 1994, Thesis Advisor: Prof. Mark Ediger, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 

B.S., Chemistry April 1989, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT


Phone: 301-975-8104
Email: marcus.cicerone@nist.gov
Fax: 301-975-4977