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Meet the Participants

Pete Iwen

Dr. Peter Iwen

Associate Professor
University of Nebraska Medical Center

Dr. Peter Iwen is an Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in the department of Pathology and Microbiology, and the Associate Director for the NPHL. In addition, he serves as the Clinical Microbiology Project Coordinator for The Nebraska Medical Center, UNMC’s hospital partner and as Biosafety Officer for the University system. Dr. Iwen’s research includes developing different laboratory tests (or “assays”) to detect and identify viruses, bacteria and fungi, as well as working with the highly infectious agent, Francisella tularensis or the cause of “Rabbit Fever”. He teaches courses for medical students, pharmacy students and physician assistant students. Dr. Iwen has received the Faculty Senate teaching award, the highest honor for those who teach in the medical school because the awardee is selected by faculty peers.

Together, Dr. Iwen and Mr. Sambol are working on a special research project with 3M Corporation. They are working to develop a respirator, or “personal protective equipment” (PPE) that would protect healthcare and laboratory workers from a pandemic influenza virus. The virus they are working with is H5N1, also called “avian flu”. They have been trained by the Federal government employees on a specialized machine designed to test the masks.