Research/Areas of Interest:

Ocular Pathology
Ocular Oncology
Comparative Pathology
Vision Science


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Ohio State University, USA, 2019
  • Doctor of Vet Medicine, Ohio State University, USA, 2014
  • Bachelor of Science, Ohio State University, USA, 2010


Cornelia Peterson, DVM, PhD, DACVP (Anatomic Pathology) is an assistant professor at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Her research efforts seek to elucidate mechanisms of diseases of the eye and visual system with comparative ocular pathology approaches.

Dr. Peterson received her BS (Zoology, 2010), DVM (2014), and PhD (Vision Science, 2019) from The Ohio State University and completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery (2014-2015) at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital. She considers herself to be a corneal biologist a heart, having spent two years during vet school, her intern year research time, and all of graduate school evaluating various signaling pathways involved in corneal wound healing. While pursuing her initial year of anatomic pathology training at Johns Hopkins University, she also evaluated the role of the integrated stress response (ISR) in the pathophysiology of keratoconus and aimed to establish a rat model of disease using an ISR-agonist.

As a member of the Brain and Eye Tumor Research Group during her postdoctoral fellowship at the Wilmer Eye Institute, her ocular oncology interests broadened to include characterizing the molecular features of both human and canine Meibomian gland (sebaceous gland) carcinomas. Further work in ocular pathology has aimed to evaluate human papillomavirus in squamous conjunctival lesions and characterize the retinal histologic changes in a rabbit model of proliferative vitreoretinopathy.

Additional comparative and translational projects that Dr. Peterson has recently contributed to include: 1) characterization of the role of primary cilia and Sonic hedgehog signaling pathways in the development of the murine Meibomian gland, 2) histologic evaluation of a feline model of penetrating keratoplasty with keratoprosthesis, 3) immunohistochemical evaluation of LDHA expression in age-related macular degeneration, 4) scoring of radiation-induced ocular pathology in mice, 5) assessment of retinal pathology in Alzheimer's patients, and 6) elucidation of the mechanosensory nervous system in the murine cornea.

Now at Tufts, she plans to develop an independent research program focused on the role of the protooncogene, MYC, in Meibomian gland pathology, primarily utilizing transduced human cell lines and transgenic mouse models.