Get to know our new faculty!

  • Sep 09, 2019
  • By Daniel Moses

Xavier is happy to welcome our new faculty members to our campus for our Fall 2019 semester! Get to know alitttle more about them:



Virginia De Frías, PhD

Professor of Physiology and Neuroscience

Dr. Virginia De Frías received her Bachelor’s in Science with a major in Bio Chemistry in 1986, and in  1999 she received her PhD in Basic Science with a focus in Pharmacology, from Universidad Central de Venezuela. From 1999 to 2018 she was a professor of physiology to undergraduate students at Universidad Central de Venezuela. She has also been a professor of Pharmacology in post graduate studies at Central University of Venezuela from 2002 – 2018. She was also the Professor of Neuroscience to students in the Residency programs of Neurology and Psychiatry from 2005 – 2013.



Michelle Heffner Macera, PhD

Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Michelle Heffner Macera earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from West Virginia University. Her doctoral dissertation, “Empirical Support for the Use of Storytelling to Guide Behavior,” won the Elsie Ramos Research Poster Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and the Best Research Poster award from the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (American Psychological Association Division 12/Section 13).

Dr. Macera completed her pre-doctoral psychology internship at the Veteran’s Affairs: Sierra Nevada Health Care System, and completed her post-doctoral psychology internship at Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services. She is a licensed Psychologist in Nevada. She is first author of “The Anorexia Workbook” and co-author of several other publications, including a body image treatment manual, book chapters, and peer-reviewed journal articles. She previously worked as a Psychology faculty member at Harrisburg Area Community College, where she was named a three-time Faculty Scholar award winner.


Jeremy Laurence Rae, PhD

Assistant Professor of Bio Chemistry and Genetics

Dr. Jeremy Laurence Rae holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University Of Otago (N.Z.), an adult teaching qualification, and has been teaching in the biological sciences for over 14 years. He has worked in New Zealand, Australia and the UAE.  Dr. Jeremy Laurence Rae’s PhD concerned the characterization of an enzyme and its corresponding gene from infectious bacteria.  For his post-doc he helped develop a vaccine against a bacterial infection in livestock which was later patented.



Zahid Siddiqui, MD

Assistant Professor of Pathology

Dr. Siddiqui completed his pre-medical degree at Brooklyn College in New York.  He majored in Biology and minored in Nutrition and Psychology. He then went on to graduate from Ross University School of Medicine in 2008, where he received his MD degree. he completed 4 years of residency training in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at New York Medical College and then completed his fellowship in Cytopathology at the University of Florida, Jacksonville.