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Dr. Kistler at campus lion shrine

Contact Information
Title: Instructor in Chemistry
Office: 312 G Main Building
Phone: 610-892-1454
E-mail: kak46@psu.edu

Kurt A. Kistler received his B.A. in Chemistry from Washington University, St. Louis, two Masters Degrees in Chemistry, from University of Illinois, Urbana and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Temple University, Philadelphia. His research involves quantum mechanical studies of how light interacts with biological molecules, such as DNA and photosynthetic centers, and also photonic molecular nanotech systems, such as optical switches. During graduate school he earned several awards and fellowships, including the Francis H. Case Fellowship, the Daniel Swern Fellowship, and the Outstanding Research for a Graduate Student Award. He has taught organic, physical and general chemistry at some of the best colleges and universities in the greater Philadelphia area.

When not teaching or doing research, Dr. Kistler enjoys restoring vintage vacuum tube audio electronics, spinning vinyl, and painting. He also is a black-belt martial artist in budo, Japanese art of war, both as a student and teacher, and is currently studying Seven-Star Preying Mantis gung fu and kendo, Japanese sword, with the Man Te Dojo.

Select recent publications and presentations:

M. Kotur, T. Weinacht, C. Zhou, K. A. Kistler, S. Matsika, "Distinguishing Between Relaxation Pathways by Combining Dissociative Ionization Pump Probe Spectroscopy and Ab Initio Calculations: A Case Study of Cytosine", J. Chem. Phys. (2011), 134, 184309

K. A. Kistler and S. Matsika, “Photophysical Pathways of Cytosine in Aqueous Solution”, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. (2010), 12, 5024. Invited paper for the special issue “Molecular Mechanisms of the Photostability of Life”.

K. A. Kistler and S. Matsika, “Solvatochromic Shifts of Uracil and Cytosine Using a Combined Multireference Configuration Interaction/Molecular Dynamics Approach and the Fragment Molecular Orbital Method”, J. Phys. Chem. A (2009) 113, 12396.

K. A. Kistler and S. Matsika, “Quantum Mechanical Studies for the Photophysics of DNA/RNA Bases”, a review chapter in Multi-scale Quantum Models for Biocatalysis: Modern Techniques and Applications, Springer-Verlag, (2009).

Invited talk at Los Alamos National Laboratories, Los Alamos, NM, March, 2011: “Theoretical Investigations of the Photophysical Properties of the DNA and RNA Pyrimidines and their Fluorescent Analogs”.