Dr Desiree Petersen

ProMis Team Member Profile

Desiree-PetersenDr Desiree Petersen, BSc, BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD

Senior Research Officer

Head of Technology Development within the Laboratory for Human Comparative and Prostate Cancer Genomics

Full research profile



Dr Petersen received a PhD in Human Genetics, Health Sciences from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa in 2006. She also holds a BSc degree (1998) in Natural Sciences as well as a BSc (Hons) degree (1999) and MSc degree (2002) in Human Genetics, Medical Sciences from theUniversity of Stellenbosch. During her postgraduate studies, she performed research at the University of Maastricht in The Netherlands, National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland, USA and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia. In 2006, she was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the Freedman Foundation, Australia and joined the Cancer Genetics group, Cancer Research program at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

Her research focused on the genetic analysis of inflammatory cytokines and their role in predisposition to prostate cancer. She relocated with the Cancer Genetics group in 2008 to the Children’s Cancer InstituteAustraliawhere she was a Research Officer before joining the J. Craig Venter Institute, San Diego, USA in 2011 as a Staff Scientist in the Genomic Medicine group. Dr Petersen will return to the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in January 2014 as a Senior Research Officer in the laboratory for Human Comparative and Prostate Cancer Genomics and will be responsible for research and development of a new phase of genomic technology.

Dr Petersen’s current research interest involves investigating genomic diversity within and between human populations to further establish the genetic basis of complex diseases such as prostate cancer. This includes a strong interest in advancing research and development of new genomic tools for generating data that validates genetic and structural variation amongst individuals. Previous contributions to technical development include assisting with establishing the first research laboratory in Australia to use Next Generation Sequencing with the Roche 454 GS FLX instrument and performing high-throughput genotyping on the Illumina platform.