Christine Petersen, associate professor of epidemiology, has been named the recipient of the 2015 College of Public Health New Faculty Research Award. This award was established by the college to assist newly appointed or junior faculty in collecting preliminary data or pilot studies leading to larger projects. The awards are based on scientific merit, including originality; relevance to the UI public health mission; and likelihood of subsequent extramural funding.
The goal of Petersen’s project, “Prevalence and risk factors of companion animal zoonoses in caretakers,” is to identify for the first time in the United States what the risk of zoonotic disease infection is in hunting dog caretakers. In addition, it will be the first study that uses more sensitive methods, specifically quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, to determine the prevalence rate of zoonoses infection within hunting dog caretakers and duck hunters as compared to the general population.
Other members of Petersen’s research team include Matthew Nonnenmann, CPH assistant professor of occupational and environmental health, and Lucy DesJardin with the State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa.