Faculty & Staff

Dr. Laura Wessels

Dr. Laura Wessels

Assistant Professor, Physics Department

ML 4111
Lindner 106

Phone: (513) 745-1952

Fax: (513) 745-3695


  • PhD, North Carolina State University.
  • MS, Vanderbilt University.
  • BS, Mary Washington University.

Awards, Honors, & Certifications:

  • Women of Excellence Grant for creating a Xavier pilot program to support career specialization and persistence of female students in disciplines with prevalent underrepresentation of women, 2016.
  • EpScor Mini-Grant from NSF awarded May 2014.
  • Research Council Services Mini-Grant from University of Nebraska awarded April 2013.
  • Travel Grant from University Graduate Student Association to attend 51st Annual Meeting of the Biophysics Society in 2007.
  • Invited to A Gathering of Nobel Laureates: Science for the 21st Century in Charlotte, NC. Feb. 28th-March 1st, 2005.
  • Tennessee Space Consortium Fellowship, 1998.


Dr. Wessels joined the physics department at Xavier University in August 2015.

She earned her PhD from North Carolina State University in 2009, where she began her research in biophysics. She is interested in learning how two membranes (cellular and viral, cellular and vesicular, viral and endosomal, etc.) fuse together. Her research focus is on Sindbis virus, Baculovirus and Influenza membrane proteins that facilitate fusion using fluorescent probes to trace and record membrane dynamics.

Prior to teaching and doing biophysics research, Dr. Wessels earned a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University and taught computer programming at Strayer University.

Outside of work, Dr. Wessels enjoys watching hockey and tennis and playing with her cats.

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