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Seminar by Dr. Christine Peterson

Faculty and Chair candidate for the Department of Public Health


Dr. Petersen is the Director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases (CEID) at the University of Iowa housed within theDepartment of Epidemiology. The focus of this center is to bringtogether trans-disciplinary research teams to lessen the burdenof emerging zoonotic infectious diseases across health settings.These efforts bring together immunologists, vaccinologists andcomputational biologists/biostatisticians to attack the problemof vaccine-intractable infections through statistical hierarchicalmodeling of protective immunity. CEID-based efforts have led topublished collaborative studies.


Dr. Petersen is also the principal investigator and last author instudies that follow the immunopathology of visceralleishmaniasis (VL) and tick-borne diseases, including Borreliosis(LD) in a canine natural disease model. We have ongoing studiesof dogs infected with visceralizing Leishmania spp in the US,Brazil and India and in people in Brazil and Ethiopia. She is Co-I ofan R01 “Epidemic modeling framework for complex, multi-species disease processes,” working with Drs. Oleson and Brown,based on her laboratory’s wet-lab discoveries of canineprogressive leishmaniasis. Dr. Petersen has also led multiple fieldand vaccine trials as PI on a sub-contract on a VL vaccineimmunogencity study with Merial from an NIAID R01 to theInfectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI). This subaward fromIDRI led to further trials of experimental vaccine immunogencityex vivo in cells from a hunting dog cohort, published in Vaccine in2015 and a large CONSORT-guided vaccine field trial completedin spring of 2017 and recently also published in Vaccine (4). Thesafety portion of this trial was published in AJTMH in 2018. Heractive research group is focused on the long term goal ofunderstanding how to best protect people and animals fromvector-borne diseases through effective treatment and/orvaccination.

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