Global Health Pathways Series: Peter Larsen
Dr. Peter Larsen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. He leads a diverse research program focused on Evolutionary Medicine and One Health and is Co-Director of the Minnesota Center for Prion Research and Outreach. Dr. Larsen is a classically trained mammologist and evolutionary biologist and he has participated in and led several collaborative international field expeditions aimed at cataloging mammalian biodiversity and discovering emerging zoonoses associated with mammalian wildlife. These expeditions resulted in the discovery of two new species of bats in the Caribbean and South America, novel tick-borne parasites circulating in Madagascar, and a novel strain of Tick-Borne encephalitis virus in Kyrgyzstan. Dr. Larsen is currently collaborating with faculty at the University of Malaysia Sarawak in Borneo to establish a collaborative research program focused on field-based metagenomics and zoonotic pathogen discovery. Ongoing projects conducted by students and staff in the Larsen Lab include molecular characterization of viruses and bacteria at the rodent-livestock interface, real-time surveillance and discovery of tick-borne pathogens, molecular diagnostic R&D for Chronic Wasting Disease causing prions, and micro/macro-parasite discovery in Amazonian bush-meat.