(414) 351-3617


Availability: Fall, Spring, Summer

Method: Virtual

David Petering

University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Biochemistry

College of Letters & Science

Faculty Emeriti or Retired Staff

Dr. Petering is internationally recognized for his research on metals in biological systems, with long standing programs in understanding the toxicology of metals, how the nutritionally essential metal zinc is metabolized, and the means by which metal complexes attack tumor cells. He co-directs a precollege science education program, funded for 25 years by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), that is focused on providing middle and high school students with authentic experiences in doing and communicating research. Professor Petering previously served for 29 years as director of two National Institutes of Health centers focused on children’s environmental health. He provided the faculty leadership that led to decision to form the Zilber School of Public Health and has played a central role in the transition of UWM to a top-tier research university.


Childhood/Adolescence, Education, Public Health, Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, etc.), Sustainability, Environmentalism and Conservation, UWM


• Childhood lead poisoning: understanding its origins and significance and how to address this important issue in underprivileged communities, • Sustainable Earth: understanding and acting on the twin existential crises of the 21st century, • The environmental crisis: Judeo-Christian ethical resources to address a problem beyond a solely technical solution, • What does it mean that the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is a top-tier research university and why does this matter to Milwaukee and Wisconsin?, • What is public health and why is there so little funding and infrastructure for the real foundation of the health of communities?, climate change and biodiversity loss