Dr. Peterson's research activities have been in the areas of toxin-mediated bacterial diseases, including cholera, anthrax, and salmonellosis. The majority of the lab's current research is focused on the evaluation of drugs, monoclonal antibodies, and vaccines that block the pathogenesis of anthrax. Screening of potential therapeutics is performed in tissue culture assays with the B. anthracis toxins before they are selected for further evaluation in small animal models of inhalation anthrax. Through collaboration, Dr. Peterson is investigating the molecular mechanism(s) by which the anthrax lethal factor kills macrophage cells designing and synthesizing more effective inhibitors of anthrax lethal factor and edema factor, as well as enterotoxins that stimulate intestinal adenylate cyclase. Ultimately, this research will advance the treatment or prophylaxis against inhalation anthrax and selected diarrheal diseases. He is the Director of the Aerobiology Division of the GNL.