Christine Petersen

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Title(s): Director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Associate Professor
Department: Epidemiology
Office: S429 CPHB
Phone: (319) 384-1579

Dr. Christine Petersen graduated with her DVM from Cornell University in 1998, and completed her PhD in Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard School of Public Health in 2004. With the first seeds planted as a veterinary student doing a summer research project on African Trypanosomiasis in Nairobi, Kenya, Dr. Petersen’s scientific career has focused on the prevention of zoonotic diseases, which primarily focuses on leishmaniasis. Dr. Petersen is now director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, a “One Health” collaboration between the Iowa Department of Public Health and regents colleges of Medicine, Public Health (UIowa) and Veterinary Medicine (ISU) . As an Associate Professor at University of Iowa, College of Public Health, she also teaches joint veterinary and graduate coursework and conducts outreach related to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of zoonotic diseases within companion animal and human populations. Additionally, she collaborates with the Iowa State University animal shelter medicine program, populations ripe for spread of zoonotic infectious diseases. Her interest in ‘One Health’ was started while a veterinary student by a cadre of veterinarians working in global developing areas.


Courses Taught

  • Zoonotic Diseases
  • Public Health Laboratory Techniques
  • Diagnostic Microbiology
  • Epi of Infectious Diseases

Research Interests

  • Investigation of host-pathogen interaction between the murine or canine immune system and Leishmania species
  • Characterization of key signaling events required to induce clearance of disease vs. chronicity
  • Understanding of processing of and immune responses to carbohydrates
  • Development of diagnostics and epidemiological studies of Brucella canis
  • Prevention of Infectious Diseases in kennel/animal shelter settings
  • Zoonotic diseases

Background