Brian Petersen


I was trained as an electrician in the US Navy.  After my enlistment I spent five years working in industrial and commercial electrical engineering.  Some health trouble led me to choose a more cerebral career where I could foster my love of complex systems.  Going back to school, I earned a B.S. in Neuroscience from UC Riverside with undergraduate research into both drug delivery/design and calcium signaling in hippocampal astrocytes.  Helping me through graduate school here in Chapel Hill are my wonderful wife, son and daughter.


I am combining microfluidics and genomic techniques from my home in the Dohlman Lab with computational biology from the Elston Lab to study MAP Kinase signaling in yeast.  Yeast is an unusual model system for an aspiring neurobiologist but the robustness, high turnover, and rapidly redesignable genome allow for unique experiments.  I am working to understand how changes in the kinetics within and between MAP Kinase signal transduction networks control differential genomic expression profiles.