Heidi Woelbern, Ph.D.

  • Part-Time Faculty
  • Biology and Chemistry Departments


  • B.A., Religious Studies, Westmont College
  • B.S., Chemistry, Westmont College,
  • Ph.D., Biological Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Post-Doctoral: University of California, Los Angeles


Dr. Woelbern earned a B.A. in Religious Studies and a B.S. in Chemistry from Westmont College in 1995, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of California Los Angeles in 2001.   She worked in the biotechnology industry for six years at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, and ultimately joined the Biology department at PLNU in 2008. 

Dr. Woelbern has been married to Matthew Woelbern since 2001 and they have three children: Ethan, Anna and Elijah.


Dr. Woelbern is primarily responsible for teaching Biotechnology and Society (BIO104).  She has also taught Cell Biology and Biochemistry (BIO210), Genetics (BIO 345) and Perspectives on Science (BIO692).  Additionally Dr. Woelbern has taught numerous lab courses: Ecological and Evolutionary Systems (BIO211), Developmental Biology (BIO400), Introduction to General Organic and Biological Chemistry (CHE103) and General Chemistry (CHE152).


As a molecular biologist, Dr. Woelbern’s research has focused on the role of nuclear receptors, a subclass of transcription factors, in regulating various metabolic diseases (diabetes, heart disease, lipoprotein metabolism) as well as cancer.