Lonnie Petersen

Lonnie Petersen joined MIT’s Department of AeroAstro as an assistant professor in September 2022. She serves as the Charles Stark Draper Career Development Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Petersen also joined the core faculty of IMES. Previously, she served as an assistant professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of California at San Diego. As both a medical doctor and engineer, Petersen’s work bridges these two worlds. She holds a PhD in gravitational physiology, and her work is focused on fluid and perfusion regulation, specifically focusing on the brain. Applications include space and aviation physiology, including countermeasure development for long-duration spaceflight and exploration class missions. Additionally, she works on the application of knowledge gained in space for life on earth, including translation of technology and human-hardware interaction. Petersen earned a BA in physics, math, and chemistry at Frederiksberg College. She received her MS in space and aviation physiology from the University of Copenhagen. Petersen obtained an MD and PhD in gravitational physiology and space medicine from the University of Copenhagen. She has completed postdoctoral fellowships at Toyo University in Tokyo and UC San Diego School of Medicine. In addition to emergency medicine, Petersen has served in pre-hospital care and remote areas, including Greenland.



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