Kodanko’s more basic love of science started when he was in high school at Sevastopol. He realized he enjoyed chemistry and was good at it, and his teacher served as a great role model. After graduating from Sevastopol in 1993, he intended to pursue engineering instead of science and studied in a program at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay for two years. While there, he took an organic chemistry class that ended up changing the course of his academic career. Today Kodanko runs his own lab and continues to do research such as the light-activated therapeutics work with graduate students.