Marisa Pedulla - Biology

Biological Sciences


Marisa Pedulla

Marisa Pedulla

Chemistry & Biology Building (CBB) 214
Phone: 406-496-4836


Dr. Pedulla received her B.S. in Chemistry with a bioscience option at the University of Pittsburgh with coursework including studies in French and Japanese. She received her Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Pittsburgh in the laboratory of Dr. Graham Hatfull. After a brief postdoctoral position at Washington State University, she ran the Phage Genomics facility at the Pittsburgh Bacteriophage Institute and co-developed phage discovery program with Dr. Graham Hatfull. She brought phage discovery to teachers and students across Montana beginning as an assistant professor of Biology at Montana Tech in 2005. Over 6,000 students have participated in her phage discovery program. She has been awarded several significant research grants, including recently an NIH SEPA grant in collaboration with entitled "Bringing Research Into the Classroom."

Research Interests

Dr. Pedulla's laboratory focuses on the discovery and characterization of mycobacteriophages.

Non-Research Academic Interests

Dr. Pedulla is interested in microbiology, cellular, molecular, and developmental biology as well as the history and philosophy of science.

Selected Honors & Awards

  • 2019 National Institutes of Health, Science Education Partnership Award “PHAGES: Phages Helping Acquire Genuine Experiences in Science,” (with; $1.3 Millionan
  • 2019 Elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • 2017 Nominated by Montana Tech for Council for Undergraduate Research Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Award
  • 2016 Montana Tech Distinguished Researcher Award
  • 2015: Montana Tech Faculty Merit Award for Service
  • 2012: Montana Tech Faculty Merit Award for Service
  • 2009: Rose and Anna Busch Faculty Achievement Award
  • 2008: Montana Academy of Sciences Science Mentor of the Year
  • 2007: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education Montana Professor of the Year
  • 2007: Inducted to Montana Tech Chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society

Research Grants

  • 2014: National Institutes of Health, Science Education Partnership Award “BRIC: Bringing Research Into the Classroom, (with Rayelynn Connole); $1.25 Million
  • 2013: National Science Foundation, EAGER Funding Mechanism“Nanoparticle-mediated increase in viral plaque formation,” (with Raj Kasinath and Katie Hailer); $99,906
  • 2010: Montana Board of Research & Commercialization Technology (with Raj Kasinath and Jovanka Voyich); “Nanoparticle-Bacteriophage Cocktails to Combat Infectious Disease); $113,050
  • 2009: M.J. Murdoch Charitable Trust Partners in Science (with Kate McElroy); $15,000
  • 2009-2014: National Institutes of Health MT INBRE 4/9 Funded Research Salary; $500,000
  • 2007: Montana Tech Faculty Seed Grant; $5,000
  • 2007: Montana Gear Up Program (with Montana Tech Technical Outreach); “Diggin’ The Future, A Summer Camp For GEAR UP Students,”$24,000
  • 2006: NIH-COBRE Center for Development of Immunotherapies to Zoonotic Diseases. “Isolation and Characterization of Bacteriophages That Infect Mycobacterial Species,” $11,000

Career in Brief

  • 2013-present: Professor of Biology, Montana Tech
  • 2013-2014: Scientist in Residence, Helena High School
  • 2008-2013: Associate Professor of Biology, Montana Tech
  • 2005-2008: Assistant Professor of Biology, Montana Tech
  • 2001-2005: Coordinator, Pittsburgh Bacteriophage Institute
  • 2005,2006: Director,University of Pittsburgh Teacher Training Workshops
  • 2002-2007: Chief Editor, USJF Judo Magazine

Courses Taught

Dr. Pedulla regularly teaches Genetics and Molecular Biology courses, but in addition has taught a variety of courses, including those listed below.

  • Graduate Bacterial Pathophysiology
  • Graduate Principles of Pharmacology
  • Graduate Seminar Series
  • Graduate Thesis Research
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Graduate Genomic Medicine
  • Graduate Human Reproductive Biology
  • Graduate Principles and Practice of Human Pathology
  • Biology Sophomore Seminar (co-taught with Dr. Kuenzi)
  • Graduate Bacteriophage Genetics
  • Graduate Technical Writing
  • Special Topics: Pathogenesis
  • Special Topics: Transgenic Animals
  • Biology Sophomore Seminar
  • Special Topics: Virology
  • Special Topics: Extremophiles
  • Professional Development
  • Special Topics: Virology 2
  • Principles of Living Systems
  • Special Topics: Developmental Biology
  • Special Topics: Knowledge surveys in assessing biological education
  • Special topics Genetics Laboratory (co-taught with Katie Hailer)
  • HHMI SEA Phage Discovery Course
  • Special Topics: Cancer Biology
  • HHMI SEA Phage In silico genome annotation bioinformatics lab
  • Special Topics: Medical Microbiology
  • Special Topics: Bacteriophages

Selected Publications

Hanauer, D.I. et al. (2017) An Inclusive Research-Education Community (iREC): A model for student engagement in Science, PNAS,

J. M. Andriolo; R. J. Rossi; C. A. McConnell; B. I. Connors; K. Trout; M. K. Hailer; M. L. Pedulla; J. L. Skinner, (2016)  "Influence of iron-doped apatite nanoparticles on viral infection examined in bacterial versus algal systems,"IEEE Transactions on NanoBioscience , 15: 908-916 DOI: 10.1109/TNB.2016.2619349

Pope, W.H. et al. (2015) “Whole genome comparison of a large collection of mycobacteriophages reveals a continuum of bacteriophage genetic diversity” eLife DOI: 10.7554/eLife.06416.001.

Andriolo, J.M., Hensleigh, R.M., McConnell, C.A., Pedulla, M.L., Hailer, K., Kasinath, R., Wyss, G., Gleason, W., and Skinner, J.L.,“Iron-doped apatite nanoparticles for improvement of phage therapy” (2014) Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B 32, 06FD01; doi: 10.1116/1.4894460.

Stewart, CR, Crewsan, SG, and Pedulla, ML., “SPO1-like viruses” In: Tidona, C., Darai, G. (Eds.) The Springer Index of Viruses, 2nd ed. Springer, New York, USA (2012), Part 51, 931-939, DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-95919-1_144

Pedulla, M.L. and McElroy, K., (2011) “Comparing Knowledge surveys with Traditional Assessment Methods in Undergraduate Cell Biology, Genetics, and Molecular Biology Courses,” (18th Annual ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators) Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education,12: 95-96.

Hanauer, D.I.; Jacobs-Sera, D.; Pedulla, M.L.; Cresawn, S.; Hendrix, R.W.; and Hatfull,G.F.; (2006) “Can scientific inquiry be taught in school? An Alternative Approach,” Science: 314: 1880-1881.

Hatfull, G.F., Pedulla, M.L.; Jacobs-Sera, D.; Cichon1, P.M.; Foley, A.; Ford, M.E.; Gonda, R.M.; Houtz, J.M.; Hryckowian, A.J.; Kelchner, V.A.; Namburi, S.; Pajcini, K.V.; Popovich, M.G.; Schleicher, D.T.; Simanek, B.Z.; Smith, A.L.; Zdanowicz, G.M.; Kumar, V.l; Peebles, C.L.; Jacobs Jr., W.R.; Lawrence, J.G.; & Hendrix, R.W.; (2006) Exploring the mycobacteriophage metaproteome: Phage genomics as an educational platform. PLoS Genet 2(6): e92. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.0020092.

Personal Interests

Dr. Pedulla enjoys a fantastic appreciation of nature while running, hiking, skiing, floating, and hunting.

Dr. Pedulla has a competitive athletic background including the following:

  • 1987-1990 Collegiate National Judo Championships, -114 lbs., First Place.
  • 1991: Completed City of Pittsburgh Marathon
  • 1996, 1997 U.S. Senior National Judo Champion, -52kg
  • US Olympic Committee Female Judo Athlete of the Year
  • 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, Women’s Judo, -52kg, Seventh Place. Pan American Judo Championships, -52kg, Third Place
  • 1997 US World Judo Championship Team Member
  • 2004, US Olympic Judo Team Assistant Coach