Dr. Peterson obtained a B.S. degree from the University of Southern California and a Ph.D from the University of Otago School of Medicine, New Zealand. Dr. Peterson did a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in stem cell biology and gene therapy at UC San Diego, with Prof. Fred H. (Rusty) Gage. Dr. Peterson moved to the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA in 1995, where he was a Staff Scientist in the Laboratory of Genetics.
In 1998, Dr. Peterson joined the faculty of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and established the Laboratory for Neural Repair and Neurogenesis. This was subsequently broadened in its focus to become the Laboratory for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine. In 2007, with the support of the Board of Trustees of Rosalind Franklin University, Dr. Peterson established the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (CSCRM). In addition to directing the CSCRM, Dr. Peterson is Professor and Vice-Chairman of Neuroscience and is the author of more than 65 peer-reviewed scientific publications.
He is an internationally recognized scientist in the fields of stem cell biology, gene therapy, and the biology of aging. Dr. Peterson recently served as Chairman of the National Institutes of Health Study Sections, Neurogenesis and Cell Fate and Juvenile Protective Factors. He serves on the editorial boards of the scientific journals Stem Cells and Development, Neurobiology of Aging, Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, Frontiers in Neurogenesis, Aging and Disease, and Patents on Regenerative Medicine, and ISRN Stem Cells. He is the past-President of the Chicago Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience. He is also past-President of the American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair and past-Congress President for the 11th International Neural Transplantation and Repair Meeting. Dr. Peterson serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Brain Research Foundation and on the National Scientific Advisory Council of the American Federation for Aging Research. He also serves as a Commissioner for the Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale Italia, Concorsuale 06/D6-Neurologia, Commissario OCSE (Italian National Scientific Review Panel for Tenure and Promotion, Neurology Division, External Commissioner).
Dr. Peterson has recently been awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award to support collaborative research with Prof. Oliver Brüstle at the Institute of Reconstructive Neurobiology, University of Bonn, Germany.