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Petersen, Eric


Assistant Professor


Eric earned his PhD in Neuroscience at Central Michigan University where he applied bioluminescent-optogenetic stimulation to treat spinal cord injury in rodent models as a non-invasive approach to neuronal stimulation. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in synthetic biology at Michigan State University where he developed various genetically encoded sensors that can be used to report neuronal activity based on detecting neurotransmitters. His research currently focuses on the continued development of tools using rational protein design and protein evolution that can be used to either report or control neuronal activity based on the presence of various neurotransmitters. He aims to apply these tools to study brain function in health and disease and to correct the underlying pathologies of various neurodegenerative diseases. In addition to neuroscience applications, he is working to develop various protein based biosensors and synthetic gene circuit based biosensors for a variety of biomedical and environmental applications including detection of small molecules for diagnostics and for detection of environmental toxins and contaminants.

More about Eric Petersen

Petersen ED, Sharkey ED, Pal A, Shafau LO, Zenchak-Petersen J, Peña AJ, Aggarwal A, Prakash M, Hochgeschwender U (2022). Restoring Function After Severe Spinal Cord Injury Through BioLuminescent-OptoGenetics. Frontiers in neurology.

Petersen ED, Zenchak JR, Lossia OV, Hochgeschwender U (2018). Neural Stem Cells Derived Directly from Adipose Tissue. Stem cells and development.

Ikefuama, E, Kendziorski, G, Anderson, K, Shafau, L, Prakash, M, Hochgeschwender, U, Petersen, E (2022). Improved Locomotor Recovery in a Rat Model of Spinal Cord Injury by BioLuminescent-OptoGenetic (BL-OG) Stimulation with an Enhanced Luminopsin International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

Kevin Anderson, Bailey Whitehead, Eric Petersen, Madison Kemme, Anna Wedster, Ute Hochgeschwender, Michael Sandstrom (2023). Behavioral context improves optogenetic stimulation of transplanted dopaminergic cells in unilateral 6-OHDA rats Behavioral Brain Research.

Zenchak JR, Palmateer B, Dorka N, Brown TM, Wagner LM, Medendorp WE, Petersen ED, Prakash M, Hochgeschwender U (2020). Bioluminescence-driven optogenetic activation of transplanted neural precursor cells improves motor deficits in a Parkinson's disease mouse model. Journal of neuroscience research.

Medendorp WE, Petersen ED, Pal A, Wagner LM, Myers AR, Hochgeschwender U, Jenrow KA (2018). Altered Behavior in Mice Socially Isolated During Adolescence Corresponds With Immature Dendritic Spine Morphology and Impaired Plasticity in the Prefrontal Cortex. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience.

Srinageshwar B, Peruzzaro S, Andrews M, Johnson K, Hietpas A, Clark B, McGuire C, Petersen E, Kippe J, Stewart A, Lossia O, Al-Gharaibeh A, Antcliff A, Culver R, Swanson D, Dunbar G, Sharma A, Rossignol J (2017). PAMAM Dendrimers Cross the Blood-Brain Barrier When Administered through the Carotid Artery in C57BL/6J Mice. International journal of molecular sciences.

Park SY, Song SH, Palmateer B, Pal A, Petersen ED, Shall GP, Welchko RM, Ibata K, Miyawaki A, Augustine GJ, Hochgeschwender U (2020). Novel luciferase-opsin combinations for improved luminopsins. Journal of neuroscience research.
FENS Forum Travel Award – Society for Neuroscience
MSU Postdoctoral excellence in research award
B.S, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan (MI)
A.S., Delta College, Bay City, Michigan (MI)
Ph.D., Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan (MI)
Society for Neuroscience, Michigan Chapter
World Molecular Imaging Society
Federation of European Neuroscience Societies
Society for Neuroscience