To describe Dr. Nathan Peterson’s enthusiasm for his field as infectious is very fitting for a clinical pharmacist who specializes in infectious disease. In the 10 years since he graduated from Wartburg, Peterson has established himself as an authority and leader in a specialized medical field through his desire to learn and his devotion to passing on useful antimicrobial knowledge to others who reach communities near and far.

After he earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Peterson spent a year as an intern office manager for U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley in Washington, D.C. He then became a pharmacy student at the University of Iowa, where his leadership skills emerged as founding president of the Phi Delta Chi Pharmacy Fraternity-Nu Chapter.

After graduating in 2014 with a Doctor of Pharmacy, Peterson competed for and completed not one but two post-doctorate residencies, specializing in infectious disease and practices at the top of his field. Unwavering in his pursuit of learning, he also teaches others as a lecturer on infectious disease at the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy and shares his knowledge as a clinical preceptor of clinical pharmacist interns. An accomplished academic author, he has published nine formal publications and presented multiple times at national pharmacy conventions.

Described by his nominator as “humble to a fault,” Peterson is understated in listing his accomplishments. In describing the role faith plays in his work, he referenced the metaphor of a person stranded on a boat who keeps turning away the helicopter offering to save his life, because of faith the Lord will save him. Peterson sees his work as an infectious disease pharmacist as being “in the helicopter,” diligently protecting the health of others through his calling.

Behind the scenes, Peterson works to promote public health by overseeing and monitoring antimicrobial use at multiple UnityPoint Health campuses in the Quad Cities area, and advocating for appropriate and sensible use to stop the growth of antibiotic resistance. He has been an active member of the Iowa Pharmacy Association and serves on the IPA’s Legislative Advisory Committee and is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Society of Infectious Disease Pharmacists.

In 2018, he was named among 10 Iowa participants for the Leadership Pharmacy Conference, which provides leadership training and encourages involvement in professional and community activities.

“Dr. Peterson has been a leader in both discreet and highly visible roles throughout his academic and professional career,” said his nominator, Wartburg alumnus John Koehler ‘10. “He has been nothing short of an inspiration to me, pushing me to be a better clinician, leader and friend.”