Lonnie Petersen

Charles Stark Draper Professor
Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics

As an integrative physiologist, my research is rooted in cardiovascular and exercise physiology and focuses on pressure, perfusion, and metabolic regulation of the brain.

Contact Info

Office Phone





Administrative Contact

Corrine Giordani

Financial Contact

Jei Lee Freeman

Specialization and Research Interests

My line of research falls in two parallel tracks: 1) a spin-up track which is focused on space physiology and investigating the effects of spaceflight on the human body. Specifically, my work is focused on developing countermeasure devices and user-strategies to maintain human health during long-term spaceflight and following return to a gravitational field (Earth, Moon, and Mars); and 2) a spin-down track which is Earth applications of knowledge gained in space including utilization of devices developed for use in space here on Earth for the benefit of patients.

  • Space Physiology
  • Sports Medicine & Exercise Physiology
  • Device Development
  • Medical Devices
  • COVID-19 Related Ventilator Research as a member of AVERT

Teaching Interests

  • 16.400 Human Systems Engineering
  • 16.423[J] Aerospace Biomedical and Life Support Engineering
  • 16.459 Bioengineering Journal Article Seminar

Academic Degrees

Ph.D. in Gravitational Physiology/Space Medicine, M.D. and B.S. in Medicine from University of Copenhagen; B.A. in Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry from Frederiksberg Gymnasium

Positions held at MIT

Charles Stark Draper Professor and Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Positions held outside of MIT

2020-2022, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Jacobs School of Engineering, University of California, San Diego; 2019-2022, Assistant Adjunct Professor; Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego; 2016-2019, Postdoctoral Fellowship; Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of California, San Diego; 2016, Postdoctoral short-term fellowship; Toyo-University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tokyo, Japan; 2014-2015, Regional Physician and Chief Resident Doctor, Hospital of Paamiut, Greenland; 2010-2016, Attending Physician, part-time: Emergency Department (joint Surgical and Medical Emergency Room), Hospital of Amager, Denmark; 2010 General Practice/Family Medicine, Amagercenteret Health Care Center, Copenhagen