Laura Kabiri

WEBSITE(S)| Faculty Site

Laura Kabiri earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston before attending Texas Woman’s University to earn her Master of Science, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. She is a licensed physical therapist in the State of Texas as well as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Since taking a teaching track position at Rice, Dr. Kabiri’s research has shifted to an educational focus exploring the role of gratitude in the undergraduate natural science classroom. Prior to 2022, her research focused on pediatric and adolescent health and wellness, particularly between public-school and homeschool youth, in the areas of physical activity, body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular fitness, and motor skill development. She has presented her research at local, state, and national levels as well as in numerous peer-reviewed journals.

Teaching responsibilities in the Sports Medicine & Exercise Physiology program at Rice include, but are not limited to, Human Physiology, Human Anatomy, Medical Terminology, Movement Disorders, and Special Topics. She has created several novel courses at Rice including Movement Disorders and a virtual cadaver dissection laboratory component for Human Anatomy. Dr. Kabiri has received multiple teaching and mentoring awards including Lovett Favorite Professor, Baker Best Professor, Distinguished Faculty Associate, and nominations for the Outstanding Undergraduate Mentor Award and Office of Academic Advising Excellence in Academic Advising Award.

Dr. Kabiri is a proud Faculty Associate for McMurtry College and serves as their School of Natural Sciences Divisional Advisor as well. She also actively serves on the University Committee for Teaching and George R. Brown Teaching Award subcommittee, the Health Professions Advising Committee, and is the founding faculty advisor of the Sport Medicine & Exercise Physiology student club SARCOMERE (Student At Rice Committed to Optimizing Medical, Exercise, and Rehabilitation Education).

Professionally, Dr. Kabiri serves as a manuscript reviewer for multiple professional journals including Childhood Obesity and has also been a National Item Writer for National Physical Therapist Exam (NPTE). She holds past and present membership and service positions with the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, American College of Sports Medicine, and the American Physical Therapy Association.

In the community, Dr. Kabiri enjoys volunteering with the Houston Food Bank and the Chevron Houston Marathon. In her spare time, she enjoys trying new restaurants and spending time with her husband, twin boys, and her puppy.

Research Areas

Her research focuses on the role of gratitude in the undergraduate natural science classroom with prior expertise in pediatric and adolescent health and wellness.


M.S., Doctor of Physical Therapy, and Doctor of Philosophy, Texas Women's University


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