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University of Colorado Denver


Dennis R. Petersen, PhD

Professor Emeritus

Mailing address:

University of Colorado
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Mail Stop C238
12850 E. Montview Blvd. V20-2108
Aurora, CO 80045

Office Location:

Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Building (V20)
Second Floor
Room 2108

Lab Location:

Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Building (V20)
Second Floor
Room 2450G, 2460A



  • Member, Graduate Program in Toxicology
  • Member, University of Colorado Cancer Center
  • Member, Graduate Program in Pharmacology

Training and Education:

  • BS, Sul Ross State University (Animal Science)
  • PhD, University of Wyoming (Biochemical Genetics)

Research Interests:

The primary focus of research in Dr. Petersen’s laboratory involves understanding the molecular mechanisms of oxidative stress as it relates to initiation and progression of liver injury.  The biotransformation of ethanol, as well as liver disorders associated with the accumulation of lipid, result in oxidative stress leading to the peroxidation of membrane lipids.  Products of this lipid peroxidative process include chemically reactive aldehydes that that have the potential to modify proteins involved in critical metabolic pathways or signaling cascades.

A central goal of our studies is to identify the cellular proteins which are targets for by these biogenic aldehydes in order to understand how and why they are selectively modified and also determine the cellular consequences of the modification.  Currently, his laboratory is employing immunologic procedures and mass spectrometry to isolate and identify the aldehyde-modified proteins from cellular or animal models subjected to various forms of oxidative stress.


  • Professional Program: Pharmacology, Physiology, Pathophysiology
  • Graduate Program: Toxicology