Lance R. Peterson, MDDirector, Microbiology and Infectious Disease Research
Program Director, Medical Microbiology Fellowship

My research interests include the study of how best to use antimicrobial agents in order to avoid the development of microbial resistance; the detection of nosocomial pathogens such as vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and Clostridium difficile; the evaluation of new molecular diagnostic testing; and the study of the molecular mechanisms responsible for the resistance of staphylococci and pneumococci to the new fluoroquinolone antimicrobial agents. 

Most of my current research focuses on using molecular testing methods and information system technology to enhance infection control activities.  A key part of this involves designing new strategies and diagnostic tests for rapidly detecting microbial pathogens.  The spread of multidrug resistant bacteria within the hospital has lead to an ever increasing number of patients colonized with these potentially pathogenic organisms.  Reducing spread between patients and lowering the percentage of those colonized leads to fewer patients developing a serious infection.  New strategies for rapidly detecting these organisms (using real-time PCR), combined with a better understanding of how antimicrobial agent prescribing affects dissemination of resistant bacteria, offers the potential for markedly improved management of the hospital-acquired infection problem that can save lives and reduce healthcare cost. 

Our future effort is directed toward enhancing laboratory technology and resources for improving safety during patient contact with the healthcare system.  A key component of this effort is measurement of both economic and medical outcome to provide an accurate model of how new technology can improve healthcare in a cost efficient manner.


  • American Board of Internal Medicine, 1976
  • Subspecialty of Infectious Diseases, American Board of Internal Medicine, 1978
  • Special Competency in Medical Microbiology, American Board of Pathology, 1981

University Appointment

  • Clinical Professor of Pathology, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

Education and Training

  • 1972, University of Minnesota, MD
  • 1972-1975, University of Minnesota - Internal Medicine
  • 1975-1977, University of Minnesota - Infectious Diseases


  • Mangold KA, Voss BL, Singh K, Thomson RB Jr, Schora DM, Peterson LR, Kaul KL: Multiple broad-spectrum Beta-lactamase targets for comprehensive surveillance.  J Clin Microbiol 2013 Oct; 51(10):3423-5.
  • Banerjee R, Strahilevitz J, Johnson JR, Nagwekar PP, Schora DM, Shevrin I, Du H, Peterson LR, Robicsek A: Predictors and molecular epidemiology of community-onset extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli infection in a Midwestern Community.  Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2013 Sep; 34(9):947-53.
  • Das S, Anderson CJ, Grayes A, Mendoza K, Harazin M, Schora DM, Peterson LR: Nasal Carriage of Epidemic Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus-15 (EMRSA-15) Observed in Three Chciago-Area Long Term Care Facilities.  Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2013 June 24 [Epub ahead of print].
  • Hebert C, Du H, Peterson LR, Robicsek A: Electronic health record-based detection of risk factors for Clostridium difficile infection relapse.  Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2013 Apr; 34(4):407-14.
  • Mehta MS, Hacek DM, Kufner BA, Price C, Peterson LR: Dose-ranging study to assess the application of intranasal 2% mupirocin calcium ointment to eradicate Staphylococcus aureus nasal colonization.  Surg Infect (Larchmt) 2013 Feb; 14(1):69-72.
  • Wright MO, Tropp J, Schora DM, Dillon-Grant M, Peterson K, Boehm S, Robicsek A, Peterson LR: Continuous passive disinfection of catheter hubs prevents contamination and bloodstream infection.  Am J Infect Control 2013 Jan; 41(1):33-8.
  • Peterson KE, Hacek DM, Robicsek A, Thomson RB Jr, Peterson LR: Electronic Surveillance for Infectious Disease Trend Analysis Following a Quality Improvement Intervention.  Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2012 Aug; 33(8):790-5. 
  • Singh K, Mangold KA, Wyant K, Schora DM, Voss B, Kaul KL, Hayden MK, Chundi V, Peterson LR: Rectal Screening for Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemases: Comparison of Real-Time PCR and Culture Using Two Selective Screening Agar Plates.  J Clin Microbiol 2012 Aug; 50(8):2596-600.
  • Kwon JH, Fausone MK, Du H, Robicsek A, Peterson LR: Impact of laboratory-reported urine culture colony counts on the diagnosis and treatment of urinary tract infection for hospitalized patients.  Am J Clin Pathol 2012 May; 137(5):778-84.
  • Peterson LR, Mehta MS, Patel PA, Hacek DM, Harazin M, Nagwekar PP, Thomson RB Jr, Robicsek A: Laboratory testing for Clostridium difficile infection: light at the end of the tunnel.  Am J Clin Pathol 2011 Sep; 136(3):372-80.
  • Mangold KA, Santiano K, Broekman R, Krafft CA, Voss B, Wang V, Hacek DM, Usacheva EA, Thomson RB Jr, Kaul KL, Peterson LR: Real-time detection of blaKPC in clinical samples and surveillance specimens.  J Clin Microbiol 2011 Sep; 49(9):3338-9.
  • Wright MO, Kharasch M, Beaumont JL, Peterson LR, Robicsek A: Reporting catheter-associated urinary tract infections: denominator matters.  Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2011 Jul; 32(7):635-40.
  • Patel PA, Ledeboer NA, Ginocchio CC, Condon S, Bouchard S, Qin P, Karchmer T, Peterson LR: Performance of the BD GeneOhm MRSA achromopeptidase assay for real-time PCR detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in nasal specimens.  J Clin Microbiol 2011 Jun; 49(6):2266-8.
  • Peterson LR: Molecular laboratory tests for the diagnosis of respiratory tract infection due to Staphylococcus aureus.  Clin Infect Dis 2011 May; 52 Suppl 4:S361-6.
  • Robicsek A, Beaumont JL, Wright MO, Thomson RB Jr, Kaul KL, Peterson LR: Electronic prediction rules for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization.  Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2011 Jan; 32(1):9-19.
  • Usacheva EA, Ginocchio CC, Morgan M, Maglanoc G, Mehta MS, Tremblay S, Karchmer TB, Peterson LR: Prospective, multicenter evaluation of the BD GeneOhm VanR assay for direct, rapid detection of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus species in perianal and rectal specimens.  Am J Clin Pathol 2010 Aug; 134(2):219-26.
  • Hacek DM, Ogle AM, Fisher A. Robicsek A, Peterson LR: Significant impact of terminal room cleaning with bleach on reducing nosocomial Clostridium difficile.  Am J Infect Control 2010 Jun; 38(5):350-3.
  • Peterson LR, Liesenfeld O, Woods CW, Allen SD, Pombo D, Patel PA, Mehta MS, Nicholson B, Fuller D, Onderdonk A: Multicenter evaluation of the LightCycler methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) advanced test as a rapid method for detection of MRSA in nasal surveillance swabs.  J Clin Microbiol 2010 May; 48(5):1661-6.
  • La Forgia C, Franke J, Hacek DM, Thomson RB Jr, Robicsek A, Peterson LR: Management of a multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii outbreak in an intensive care unit using novel environmental disinfection: a 38-month report.  Am J Infect Control 2010 May; 38(4):259-63.
  • Peterson LR, Diekema DJ: To screen or not to screen for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.  J Clin Microbiol 2010 Mar; 48(3):683-9.
  • Hacek DM, Paule SM, Thomson RB Jr, Robicsek A, Peterson LR: Implementation of a universal admission surveillance and decolonization program for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) reduces the number of MRSA and total number of S. aureus isolates reported by the clinical laboratory.  J Clin Microbiol 2009 Nov; 47(11):3749-52.
  • Belamares J, Johnson S, Parada JP, Olson MM, Clabots CR, Bettin KM, Peterson LR, Gerding DN: Molecular epidemiology of Clostridium difficile over the course of 10 years in a tertiary care hospital.  Clin Infect Dis 2009 Oct 15; 49(8):1141-7.
  • Peterson LR, Robicsek A: Does my patient have Clostridium difficile infection?  Ann Intern Med 2009; 151(3):176-9.
  • Robicsek A, Beaumont JL, Thomson RB Jr, Govindarajan G, Peterson LR: Topical therapy for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization: impact on infection risk.  Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2009; 30(7):623-32.
  • Paule SM, Mehta M, Hacek DM, Gonzalzles TM, Robicsek A, Peterson LR: Chromogenic media vs real-time PCR for nasal surveillance of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: impact on detection of MRSA-positive persons.  Am J Clin Pathol 2009; 131(4):532-9.
  • Wright MO, Fisher A, John M, Reynolds K, Peterson LR, Robicsek A: The electronic medical record as a tool for infection surveillance: successful automation of device-days.  Am J Infect Control 2009; 37(5):364-70.
  • Robicsek A, Beaumont JL, Peterson LR: Duration of colonization with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.  Clin Infect Dis 2009; 48(7):910-3.
  • Metha MS, Paule SM, Thomson RB , Kaul KL, Peterson LR: Identification of Staphylococcus species directly from positive blood culture broth by use of molecular and conventional methods.  J Clin Microbiol 2009 Apr; 47(4):1082-6.
  • Wolk DM, Picton E, Johnson D, Davis T, Pancholi P, Ginocchio CC, Finegold S, Welch DR, de Boer M, Fuller D, Solomon MC, Rogers B, Mehta MS, Peterson LR: Multicenter evaluation of the Cepheid Xpert methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) test as a rapid screening method for detection of MRSA in nares.  J Clin Microbiol 2009 Mar; 47(3):758-64.
  • Peterson LR: A review of tigecycline--the first glycylcycline.  Int J Antimicrob Agents 2008 Dec; 32(Suppl 4):S215-22.
  • Peterson LR: Currently available antimicrobial agents and their potential for use as monotherapy.  Clin Microbiol Infect 2008 Dec; 14 (Suppl 6):30-45.
  • Mehta MS, Paule SM, Hacek DM, Thomson RB, Kaul KL, Peterson LR: Optimization of a laboratory-developed test utilizing roche analyte-specific reagents for detection of Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant S. aureus, and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus species.  J Clin Microbiol 2008 Jul; 46(7):2377-80. 
  • Hacek DM, Robb WJ, Paule SM, Kudrna JC, Stamos VP, Peterson LR: Staphylococcus aureus nasal decolonization in joint replacement surgery reduces infection.  Clin Orthop Relat Res 2008 Jun; 466(6):1349-55.
  • Robicsek A, Beaumont JL, Paule SM, Hacek DM, Thomson RB Jr, Kaul KL, King P, Peterson LR: Universal surveillance for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in 3 affiliated hospitals.  Ann Intern Med 2008 Mar; 148(6):409-18.
  • Peterson LR: Antibiotic policy and prescribing strategies for therapy of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae: the role of piperacillin-tazobactam.  Clin Microbiol Infect 2008 Jan; 14 (Suppl1):181-4.
  • Robicsek A, Suseno M, Beaumont JL, Thomson RB Jr, Peterson LR: Prediction of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus involvement in disease sites by concomitant nasal sampling.  J Clin Microbiol 2008 Feb; 46(2):588-92.
× Alternate Text