Mark D. Peterson photo


Assistant Professor, Dept of Physical Medicine & Rehab, Medical School.

Ph.D., Arizona State University

My work pertains to determining factors that influence health among older adults and persons with disabilities. Research in my lab occurs within a multidisciplinary and translational space that promotes greater understanding of issues in public health, clinical rehabilitation, human performance, and physiology. My specific research interests have been devoted to physical activity epidemiology and behavioral interventions for the treatment/prevention of obesity and related cardiometabolic diseases, frailty, functional motor declines, and early mortality. Although predictive models based on healthy cohorts have a certain degree of generalizability, it is necessary to better understand populations at heightened risk. Our current and future research efforts are therefore directed at understanding and identifying precision strategies to prevent metabolic dysregulation and secondary musculoskeletal pathology among adults with neuromuscular impairments, as well as a variety of frailty syndromes. Our primary data collection occurs through typical clinical and basic laboratory studies, high throughput imaging, and remote sensing/tracking of human movement and various biomarkers. Numerous secondary, large-data analysis efforts are also incorporated for epidemiologic studies utilizing nationally-representative samples. Of particular relevance are our recent efforts to better understand health disparities among aging individuals with physical disabilities, from the context of access to preventive care and community wellness.