Joseph R. Koke, PhD

Currently Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Biology, Colorado College
Also Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Texas State University-San Marcos

Please also see Linked in. For my current CV, please click here

This page last updated October 3, 2013

Recent Pubs/Presentations  
Dynamics and Visualization of MCF7 Adenocarcinoma Cell Death by Aptamer-C1q-Mediated Membrane Attack.
John R. Stecker, Alissa A. Savage, John G. Bruno, Dana M. Garcia and Joseph R. Koke.
NUCLEIC ACID THERAPEUTICS Volume 22, Number 4, 2012. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
DOI: 10.1089/nat.2012.0355
Activating Transcription Factor 3 and Reactive Astrocytes Following Optic Nerve Injury in Zebrafish. Luis D. Neve, Alissa A. Savage, Joseph R. Koke, Dana M. García. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part C. (2011), doi:10.1016/j.cbpc.2011.08.006
Anti-N- acetylglucosamine DNA aptamers bind chitin on Penicillium cell walls to enable fluorescent and gold staining microscopy techniques John Bruno, Alissa Savage, Maria Carrillo, Taylor Phillips, Allison Edge, Joseph Koke.
J Bionanoscience 4, 45-52, 2010
Aptamer-Based Detection and Therapeutics to Prevent and Treat E. coli Infections. John G. Bruno, Maria P. Carrillo, Taylor Phillips, Alissa Savage, Joseph R. Koke. 2011. In E. coli Infections: Causes, Treatment and Prevention. ISBN 978-1-61122-859-5, ed. Morgan C. Rogers and Nancy D. Peterson, Chapt. 3. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) expression in the neural retina and optic nerve of zebrafish during optic nerve regeneration Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A 155 (2010) 172–182. Katherine E. Saul, Joseph R. Koke, Dana M. García
Intermediate filaments of zebrafish retinal and optic nerve astrocytes and Mueller glia: differential distribution of cytokeratin and GFAP Joseph R Koke, Amanda L Mosier, and Dana M. GarcĂ­a. BMC Research Notes, Volume 3, http://www.biomedcentral.com/1756-0500/3/50
Astrocytes as gate-keepers in optic nerve regeneration — A mini-review Dana M. García, Joseph R. Koke. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A, 152:135-138.

Professional History - Dr. Koke was hired out of retirement (see paragraph right) by Colorado College, by the opportunity to lead the Biology Department of as it implements a new curriculum designed to better serve its students.


Joseph Koke joined the faculty at then Southwest Texas State University, now known as Texas State University-San Marcos, in August of 1978 as an assistant professor. Dr. Koke's main charge was to develop a program in cell biology, both in research and teaching. He was trained in microscopy, cytology, and molecular biology by mentors at the University of Oregon (James Kezer, Donald Wimber, and Frank Stahl) and at the University of Alberta in membrane physiology and neurobiology by S. K. Malhotra. Dr. Koke did a post-doctoral stint in cardiovascular medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison investigating the cell biology of myocardial ischemia - research which he continued at Texas State through the middle part of his career. His research interests broadened to cytoskeletal structures, in particular intermediate filaments, and then development and regeneration of the central nervous system

Dr. Koke has been privileged to work with many talented students, some 30 of whom have gone on to successful scientific careers of their own as PhD's, MD's, or MD-PhDs. He was promoted to full professor in 10 years, and has served as associate chair and interim chair of his department during which time he was instrumental in establishing the first natural science PhD program in the Texas State University System. In addition, he was the PI of the NSF-funded Texas State Science/Math/Technology/Education Institute, a 6 year program for in-service high school teachers that provided a real research experience, not a workshop, by pairing teachers with active researchers in the hard sciences.