• Postdoctoral, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (Pathology)
  • Ph.D. Harvard University (Microbiology and Molecular Genetics)
  • B.A. Franklin & Marshall College (Biology)


I have always been fascinated by viruses. They seem so simple, yet are so complex. Undoubtedly, viruses have caused immeasurable human suffering. Yet, in the near future, researchers may be able to use viruses to treat various human diseases. They also play a critical role in biogeochemical cycling. My research focuses on viral pathogenesis-how viruses cause disease. Currently, students are exploring the potential antiviral properties of compounds synthesized by members of the Chemistry Department.

I'm also very interested in HIV/AIDS education and outreach. In addition to teaching courses about HIV/AIDS, I also work with various student groups, like Warner Hall Eating House, to increase community awareness about this virus and the AIDS pandemic.


Viral pathogenesis, HIV/AIDS education and outreach materials


  • BIO 111 Molecules, Genes, and Cells (and lab)
  • BIO 202 Microbiology (and lab)
  • BIO 263 Representations of HIV/AIDS
  • BIO 360 Biology of HIV/AIDS

Davidson News

Biology Professor Dave Wessner with students David Peng '22 and Cathleen Krabak '23 (seated) and Nella Tsudis '23, surrounding “El Extranjero” by artist Delia Cugat.

Davidson College Biology Professor Dave Wessner and students incorporate art in a course to study the biology of COVID-19 and produce a powerful exhibit now on display. Learn more.


The spread of monkeypox is prompting worldwide concern. Davidson College biologist Dave Wessner puts the latest public health threat into perspective. Read more.

Graphic of two people with speech bubbles containing puzzle pieces looking at cloud with question mark, virus, DNA and magnifying glass

As scientists scramble to answer questions around the Omicron variant of the virus that causes COVID-19, a Davidson College professor shares what we know about the variant and why it is causing alarm.