Kristopher J. Koudelka, Ph.D.

Associate Dean of STEM
Professor of Biology

Dr. Kristopher Koudelka joined PLNU in 2014 after having taught for several years in his home state of Wisconsin. His science interests lie at the molecular level. By giving students a firm foundation in how chemical structure gives a molecule function and reactivity, they have the basis to understand any biological system. Koudelka’s research centers on the chemical modification of plant and bacteria viruses for use as drug delivery and imaging vehicles. His students specifically engineer viral nanoparticles (VNPs) to efficiently and specifically transport drugs to only sites of disease (i.e., cancer). Koudelka also creates online content for publishers as a way to further engage students in novel ways.

Although he is far from Wisconsin, he is often seen cheering on the Packers and Badgers ... and even wishing for a little snow every once in awhile.

Research Gate

Summer Research

PLNU Viewpoint: Seeking the Unseen


  • Ph.D., Biology and Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute
  • B.A., Biology, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Courses Taught

  • Biotechnology and Society – BIO 1004
  • Cell Biology and Biochemistry – BIO 2010
  • Research Methodology – BIO 3052
  • Molecular Biology – BIO 3080 
  • Advanced Biochemistry – BIO/CHE 4050
  • Special Studies in Scotland – BIO 4095

Experience in Field

  • Graduate work, The Scripps Research Institute, 2004 – 2008 (Drug Delivery by Viral Nanoparticles)
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry, University of San Diego, 2008 – 2010
  • Postdoctoral Reseacher, Skaggs School of Pharmacy, University of California-San Diego, 2008 – 2010
  • Assistant Professor of Biology and Chemistry, Carthage College, 2010 – 2014
  • Research Consultant, Thermagen LLC, 2012 – 2014

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Organizer for annual West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference (WCBSURC)
  • Online content writer and textbook reviewer for Garland Science
  • Reviewer for four different journals or associations
  • Member, Council on Undergraduate Research
  • Member, American Society for Virology

Awards and Honors

  • Achievement Recognition for Collegiate Scientists (ARCS) Fellowship
  • The Joint USD-Scripps Training for Future Faculty Members (JUST) Fellowship
  • Auxin Partners Grant

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • Koudelka KJ, et al. (2015). Virus-Based Nanoparticles as Versatile Nanomachines. Annu Rev Virol. 2(1): 379-401. PMID: 26958921.
  • Koudelka KJ, et al. (2013). Lysine Addressability and Mammalian Cell Interactions of Bacteriophage Lambda Procapsids. Biomacromolecules. 14(12):4169-76. PMID: 24251756.
  • Koudelka KJ, and Manchester M. (December 2010). Chemically Modified Viruses: Principles and Applications. Curr Opin Chem Biol. 14(6): 810-7. PMID: 21036656.
  • Koudelka KJ, and Manchester M. (2010). The Use of Viruses in Biomedical Nanotechnology. Emerging Topics in Physical Virology, Imperial College Press.
  • Koudelka KJ, et al. (2009). Endothelial Targeting of Cowpea Mosaic Virus (CPMV) Via Surface Vimentin. PLoS Pathog. 5(5). PMID: 19412526.