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


  • Zelencik S, Schora D, Fisher A, Brudner C, Patel P, Robicsek A, Smith B, Peterson LR, Wright MO: Multi-drug resistant organisms contaminating supply carts of contact isolation patients.  Am J Infect Control 2014 Oct; 42(10):1124-6.
  • Schora DM, Boehm S, Das S, Patel PA, O'Brien J, Hines C, Burdsall D, Beaumont J, Peterson K, Fausone M, Peterson LR: Impact of Detection, Education, Research and Decolonization without Isolation in Long-term care (DERAIL) on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization and transmission at 3 long-term care facilities.  Am J Infect Control 2014 Oct; 42(10 Suppl):S269-73.
  • Patel PA, Schora DM, Peterson KE, Grayes A, Boehm S, Peterson LR: Performance of the Cepheid Xpert® SA Nasal Complete PCR assay compared to culture for detection of methicillin-sensitive and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization.  Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis 2014 Sep; 80(1):32-4.
  • Ridgway JP, Peterson LR, Thomson RB Jr, Miller BA, Wright MO, Schora DM, Robicsek A: Sensitivity of surveillance testing for multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria in the intensive care unit.  J Clin Microbiol 2014 Aug 20 [Epub ahead of print].
  • Mehta MS, McClure JT, Mangold KM, Peterson LR: Performance of three real-time PCR assays for direct detection of Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA from clinical samples.  Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis 2014; [Epub ahead of print].
  • Ginn AN, Wiklendt AM, Zong Z, Lin RT, Teo JW, Tambyah PA, Peterson LR, Kaul K, Partridge SR, Iredell JR: Prediction of major antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumonia in Singapore, USA and China using a limited set of gene targets.  Int J Antimicrob Agents 2014 Jun; 43(6):563-5.
  • Tang YW, Peterson LR: Molecular identification of staphylococcal bacteraeia.  Lancel Infect Dis 2014 Feb; 14(2):94-6.
  • Schroeder LF, Robilotti E, Peterson LR, Banaei N, Dowdy DW, Patel R: Economic evaluation of laboratory testing strategies for hospital-associated Clostridium difficile infection.  J Clin Microbiol 2014 Feb; 52(2):489-96.
  • Ridgway JP, Peterson LR, Brown EC, Du H, Hebert C, Thomson RB Jr, Kaul KL, Robicsek A: Clinical significance of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization on hospital admission: one-year infection risk.  PLoS One 2013 Nov 20; 8(88):e79716.
  • 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 aureusClin 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 difficileAm 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 aureusJ Clin Microbiol 2010 Mar; 48(3):683-9.