Miriam Rossi went to Hunter College in New York and obtained her Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University. Afterwards, before coming to Vassar College, she spent some time at the Institute for Cancer Research of the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Her research is concerned with the relationship between the structure and function of molecules, particularly those having biological activity. These include natural plant products that show anti-tumor activity and others that are strong food antioxidants such as curcumin and resveratrol. The principal technique she uses is single crystal X-ray diffraction, and she is co-author of a leading text in this area. She is a member of the U.S. National Committee on Crystallography and the International Union of Crystallography Commission on Education.

She has received grants from the National Science Foundation, the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society, and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. She was awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholar award in 2008. She has taught courses in Australia, Italy, and Chile. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organometallics, Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, and the Journal of Natural Products, among many others.She particularly enjoys conducting research with undergraduates, and her students have presented their work at regional, national and international conferences.