Pärt Peterson is Professor of Molecular Immunology at the University of Tartu, Estonia. He graduated in molecular biology at the University of Tartu and defended his PhD on molecular immunology in 1996 at the University of Tampere, Finland. He spent his postdoctoral period in the Institute of Medical Technology where his research interest focused on the Autoimmune Regulator (AIRE) gene, the key factor in central thymic tolerance.
He also co-discovered DNA methyltransferase 3-like (DNMT3L) gene, a regulator of DNA methylation and epigenetic imprinting He obtained the degree of Docent at the University of Tampere and in 2000 became a Fellow of the Finnish Academy, after which he has continued his research on AIRE and APECED syndrome. In 2003-2009 he was supported by The Wellcome Trust as International Senior Fellow and started research group as Professor of Molecular Pathology at the University of Tartu, and later on in 2008, as Professor of Molecular Immunology. In 2009 he was elected as the Research Professor of the Academy of Estonia.
Pärt Peterson research is supported by Estonian Research Council (2007-2012 and 2013 onwards). Earlier he was granted Senior Fellowship from The Wellcome Trust (2003-2008), and supported by European Commission Framework 6 projects THYMAIDE (2004-2008) and EURAPS (2005-2008), also by Finnish Academy (200-2003) and by Sigrid Juselius Foundation (2000-2003). His research group currently belongs to the Center of Excellence in Translational Medicine and to Center of Translational Genomics University of Tartu. In 2009-2012 he was appointed as Academy Professor and was supported by the Estonian Academy of Sciences. He has obtained several smaller grants from Estonian Science Foundation and other science funding agencies.
Pärt Peterson has worked as the Head of the Institute of Biomedicine, University of Tartu. Since 2013, the institute was incorporated into larger Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine, where he is currently head of the Department of Biomedicine. He is member of the Evaluation Committee of Estonian Research Council and has served as an evaluator for many grant agencies (The Wellcome Trust, Telethon, MRC UK, Scottish Government, The French National Research Agency (ANR), Inserm Department of Evaluation, FNRS Belgium, Croatian Science Foundation HRZZ, Latvian Council of Science). He is chairman of the board of the Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine and member of the board of Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Tartu. He belongs to the Scientific Advisory Borad of the EU Framework 7 HypORTH project. He is Editorial Board Member of European Journal of Immunology and Scandinavian Journal of Immunology.
Pärt Peterson is the recipient of the Estonian Science Prize (2008), and has more than 110 research publications on various aspects of immunology and molecular biology. His studies have been cited over 4600 times and his H-index is 37.