Peter Petersen
Peter PetersenPh.D.
Principal Investigator and Assistant Professor



I am a systems neuroscientist and electrophysiologist studying the brain’s neuronal network dynamics. I am a Group Leader at the Neuroscience department at University of Copenhagen, Denmark. My research is focused on spatial memory and the involved mechanisms like theta oscillations in behaving rats, and the development of related tools. Our lab is funded by the Lundbeck Foundation (Lundbeck Fellowship).

I did my postdoc in the lab of György Buzsáki at NYU Neuroscience Institute. I received funding for my postdoc from the Danish Council for Independent Research and the Lundbeck Foundation.

During my Ph.D. I studied the network architecture behind motor pattern generation, using combined high-density silicon probes together with intracellular- and electroneurogram recordings from the turtle spinal cord. I graduated from University of Copenhagen in 2015 from the lab of Rune Berg.

Academic Leadership foundation

As an academic leader, I want to do excellent and rigorous science with an international mindset. I have high ambitions and want to do impactful science using cutting-edge methods, creativity, and entrepreneurship. I have a goal-oriented team vision and I want to foster integrity and trust within the team. I try to lead by example, focusing on creating a good working environment, with fairness, where people can enjoy being engaged in their scientific work.

Research Experience

2022-present: Assistant Professor and Group Leader at the Department of Neuroscience at University of Copenhagen.

2016-2022: Postdoc fellow with Gyorgy Buzsaki, NYU Langone Medical Center, USA.

2015: Postdoc fellow with Rune W. Berg, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


2015: Ph.D. from University of Copenhagen

  • Rune Berg’s laboratory at the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology
    “Neuronal Population dynamics and Multifunctionalism in the Central Nervous System”Techniques: electrophysiology, multiunit recordings, spike sorting.
  • György Buzsáki’s laboratory at New York University (6 months, 2012-2013)
    Study: The Head-direction system in thalamus during different brain states. In collaboration with Dr. Adrien Peyrache. Techniques: in vivo electrophysiology, optogenetics, high-density single-unit recordings, spike sorting.

2010: Master of Science in Engineering Physics: Technical University of Denmark

  • Focus on Biophysics and Neuroscience
    Selected Courses: Computational Neuroscience, Neurophysics, Cellular Biophysics, Introduction to Cognitive Psychology, Introduction to Systems Biology.
  • Thesis in Neuroscience
    “Neuronal Population Coding during Functional Motor Activity – A Multiunit Study in the Spinal Cord”. Supervisors: Jakob Kisbye Dreyer & Kirstine Berg Sørensen.
  • Study abroad at University of Maryland in Washington D.C. (6 months, 2007)
    Courses: Neurobiology Laboratory, Introduction to Neuroscience, Introduction to Cognitive Science.

Special Training

Berkeley course in mining and modeling of neuroscience data 2015. Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, UC Berkeley, California USA. July 6-17 2015.

Advanced Course in Computational Neuroscience: ACCN 2014. Frankfurt, Germany August 3-30 2014. 4 weeks course in computational methods and theoretical neuroscience.

Scientific awards and honors

2023: Agnes og Poul Friis Fond
2023: NIH – U19 Brain Initiative grant (Co-PI)
2022: Lundbeck Fellow starting grant (PI)
2022: NIH – NOSI Supplements to Software Tools for Open Science (Co-PI)
2020: Kavli Foundation NWB Seed Grant
2018-2019: Lundbeckfonden Post-doctoral fellowship
2016-2017: Danish Council for Independent Research Postdoctoral fellowship
2015: Alfred Benzon Post-doctoral Fellowship
2013: The Brain Prize Young Investigator Travel grant


  • NAD Autumn Symposium: “Brain temperature affects quantitative features of hippocampal sharp wave ripples”. Copenhagen, October 25, 2023.
  • MITT-ANA 2023: “How the brain navigates in space and time: Roles and mechanisms of the hippocampal theta rhythm”. Budapest, February 2, 2023.
  • Lundbeck NeuroPhysiology Forum: “How the brain navigates in space and time: Roles and mechanisms of the hippocampal theta rhythm”. Copenhagen, January 19, 2023.
  • IN Retreat 2022: “How the brain navigates in space and time: Roles and mechanisms of the hippocampal theta rhythm”. Comwell Borupgaard, August 30, 2022.
  • Berg Lab group meeting: “BrainSTEM – A collaborative electronic lab notebook for experimental neuroscience”. University of Copenhagen, Denmark. August 26, 2022.
  • University of Jyväskylä – Neuro Seminars: “Using focal thermal perturbation to probe hippocampal dynamics”. University of Jyväskylä, Finland. March 11, 2022.
  • Neurodata Without Borders (NWB) User Training Workshop: “CellExplorer: Framework for analyzing and characterizing single cells”. August 26, 2021.
  • FAIR Thee Well Symposium: “Brainstem: a metadata collection tool”, New York University, August 8th, 2021.
  • Neuromatch 2.0. “CellExplorer: Framework for analyzing and characterizing single cells”. May 26, 2020.
  • NYU Neuroscience group meeting. “Theta perturbation reveals phase-space coordination of hippocampal cell assemblies”. New York University, September 18, 2019.
  • SEU-Allen Workshop 2019. “Communication tools for data sharing in neuroscience – Database for electrophysiological
    recordings in freely moving rodents”. Nanjing, China. September 9, 2019.
  • Fruit Fly Brain Hackathon 2018. “Database for electrophysiological recordings in freely moving rodents”. Columbia University, USA. March 14, 2018.
  • The Brain Prize meeting 2013. Enlightening Neuroconnectivity. “Balanced excitation and inhibition underlies rhythmic motor activity in the spinal cord”. Hindsgavl Castle, Middelfart, Denmark. October 21-23, 2013.
  • Sandbjerg Symposium 2012. Danish Society for Neuroscience. ”Balanced excitation and inhibition during functional motor activity in the spinal cord”. Sønderborg, Denmark. May 6-8, 2012.