Petra joined Jena University Hospital (JUH), Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, in November 2016 as senior academic clinical lecturer to connect her research interests and expertise with the infection research at JUH and its integrated research and treatment Centre for Sepsis Control and Care (CSCC).
Petra is a risk communication expert with a strong background in humanities and medicine working at a global scale for both the public and private sector. She holds an MA in communication and completed her PhD in political sciences (HU Berlin & ETH Zurich) with interdisciplinary research on biosecurity. In parallel with the education and research in humanities, she is studied medicine (MBBS) and did her medical doctoral research (MD) in the field of infectious diseases and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats and their impact on public perception (King's College London & University Hospital Frankfurt). Petra has held positions at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin (Centre for Biological Security), the University Hospital Frankfurt (Department of Infectious Diseases; High containment ward) and as postdoctoral research fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) where she undertook research into international health policies, health security and the methodologies of a new risk communication paradigm. Petra has also funded and is managing director of a global risk communication consultancy based in London, UK (www.dickmann-drc.com), and - since 2018 - with an additional branch in Germany.
In July 2018, she was awarded the German Habilitation (“Privatdozentin”) and Venia Legendi in Public Health from Friedrich Schiller University Jena.
Petra’s research interests focus around health system’s responsiveness and the role of risk communication in public health and health security. Her previous research has investigated the role of risk communication in infectious disease outbreaks from a health system perspective, risk communication as core capacity within the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), an evaluation framework for risk communication interventions and risk communication methodologies. Under the methodological umbrella of a social laboratory approach, Petra is further developing an international research programme focusing on drivers of earlier detection from a health system’s perspective, contributing to patients’ safety research and further advancing the field of health security.
Petra continues her teaching on risk communication with a focus on public health and health security. Together with colleagues, she is developing an international, dual degree master programme in Public Health and Health System Governance (MBA/MPH).
Meanwhile she teaches medical students in Jena the foundations of public health:
"Risk communication for public health emergencies" 03.04.2019 Jenaer Tropenkurs (Pre-deployment course tropical medicine) Registration:
"Introduction to Public Health: Principles, Methods, Narratives" 24.03.2019 + 31.03.2019 Registration via DOSIS
"Introduction to Public Health: Principles, Methods, Narratives" 21.07.2019 + 28.07.2019 Registration via DOSIS
"Risk communication in public health" 04.08.2019 + 11.08.2019 Registration via DOSIS
Courses are taught in English
She also holds teaching commitments at Bonn University (Master Programme: Disaster Management) and is member of faculty of the United Nations (United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, UNICRI).
Dr Linda Seefeld, Bonn University: Risk communication hands on: how useful are the current WHO recommendations for risk communication of public health emergencies for a German health communication authority? (Master Thesis: Disaster Management, Bonn)
Ms Danica Gauchel-Petrovic, Bonn University: Public Food Alerts a comparison between WHO and EU rapid alter systems (Master Thesis: Disaster Management, Bonn)
Mr Lars Ritter (Medical Doctorate; JUH): CIRS Patients’ safety from a health system perspective
Current Projects and Activities
Reframing the concepts of sepsis (1-2)
Earlier outbreak detection strengthening the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) core capacities in detection and risk communication: Research in low-, middle (3) and high-income countries (4)
Public Health and Health Security: Health Security beyond the biomedical lens: e.g. horsepox example in a comment (5), a panel discussion (6) and media (7)
Relevant past projects include:
Chatham House: Project on how to ensure Safe and Secure Biomaterials in low-, mid- and high-income countries; development of a risk assessment and communication framework; funded by UK International Biosecurity Programme and the Global Partnership Programme of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada; published in Frontiers in Public Health (8)
Global Partnership Programme (GPP) on Biosecurity: Support the development of national risk communication strategies for Morocco and Tunisia and training programmes to build the capacity in risk communication; funded by the German Federal Office/GIZ and published in Health Security (9)
Connecting Organisations for Regional Disease Surveillance (CORDS), mainly funded by The Rockefeller Foundation:
Risk communication lessons during Ebola, published in Emerging Infectious Diseases (10);
EBOLA: Intensified Preparedness Programme for affected and not-yet affected countries; development of a risk communication training for health professionals, community workers and communication people; “The Beauty of Ebola” (11)
Regional One Health workshops to strengthen the intersectoral and international collaboration in five WHO regions (EURO, AFRO, SEARO, EMRO, WPRO);
Development of a rationale for measuring impact of risk communication interventions in public health emergencies; published in Journal of Communication in Healthcare (12);
Risk communication training for regional disease surveillance networks (encompassing 28 countries in five WHO regions); and
Development of a methodology for risk communication to improve preparedness for, detection of, response to and recovery from public health emergencies; published in International Journal of Infectious Diseases (13).
ECDC: Evaluating framework for risk communication and development of a risk communication training for EU Health Professionals; funded by ECDC and published in Eurosurveillance (14)
WHO Advisory Board on Mass Gathering: Chapter “Risk communication” in: Mass Gatherings Key Considerations (15)
BSL4 Laboratory Marburg/German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF): Development of a risk communication strategy for high security laboratories; funded by DZIF; related publication in Health Security (16) and Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness (17)
Antimicrobial resistance: MRSA and risk communication. Regulations, practices and policy approaches in five European countries; funded by FP7 EU Project, published in Public Health (18) and Frontiers Public Health (19)
Consulted expert by the German Ethics Committee (“Deutscher Ethikrat”) on dual use, biosecurity, and risk communication (20)
Petra Dickmann, André Scherag, Sina M. Coldewey, Christoph Sponholz, Frank M. Brunkhorst, Michael Bauer (2017): Erkenntnistheorie auf der Intensivstation welchen Zweck erfüllt eine Definition? Ein Paradigmenwechsel in der Sepsisforschung. Rebuttal. Der Anästhesist (12 May 2017); doi:10.1007/s00101-017-0315-3
Sebastian Weis, Petra Dickmann, Mathias W.Pletz, André Scherag, Sina M. Coldewey, Michael Bauer (2017): Sepsis 3: Neue Definition - neue Konzepte. Deutsches Ärzteblatt 2017, 114(29-30): A-1424 / B-1196 7 c-1170
Lindsay Steele, Emma Orefuwa, Silvia Bino, Shepherd Roee Singer, Julius Lutwama, Petra Dickmann (2018): Earlier outbreak detection - A generic model and novel methodology to guide earlier detection supported by data from low- and mid-income countries. Under review
Petra Dickmann, Bruria Adini, Ronit Ringel, Shepherd Roee Singer (2018): IHR Workshop on Earlier Detection. Executive Summary
Petra Dickmann (2017): 3 Fragen zu synthetischen Pockenviren. Deutsches Ärzteblatt 2017, 114(50): A-2406 / B-2000 / C-1954
Petra Dickmann, Aphaluck Bhatiasevi, Fadela Chaib, Ombretta Baggio, Christina Banluta, Lilian Hollenweger and Abderrahmane Maaroufi (2016): Biological risks to public health - lessons from an international conference to inform the development of risk communication strategies. Health Security 14(6), 2016: 433-440. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/hs.2016.0050
Petra Dickmann, Andrew Kitua, Paul Kaczmarek, Julius Lutwama, Justin Masumu, Esron Karimuribo et al. (2015): Using Lessons learned from previous Ebola outbreaks to inform current risk management. Emerging Infectious Diseases 05/2015,21(5): DOI:10.3201/ eid2105.14 https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/21/5/14-2016_article
Petra Dickmann, Andrew Kitua, Franklin Apfel, Nigel Lightfoot (2018): Kampala manifesto: building community-based One Health approaches to disease surveillance and response - the Ebola Legacy. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, April 2, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006292
Petra Dickmann, Amanda McClelland, Gaya M Gamhewage, Patricia Portela de Souza, Franklin Apfel (2015): Making sense of communication interventions in public health emergencies - an evaluation framework for risk communication. Journal of Communication in Healthcare 2015; 8(3), 233-240. DOI: 10.1080/17538068.2015.1101962 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17538068.2015.1101962
Petra Dickmann, Thomas Abraham, Satyajit Sarkar, Piotr Wysocki, Sabrina Cecconi, Franklin Apfel and Ülla-Karin Nurm (2016): Risk communication as a core public health competence in infectious disease management: development of the ECDC training curriculum and programme, Eurosurveillance 2016; 21(16); pii=30188, DOI: dx.doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2016.21.14.30188 http://www.eurosurveillance.org/images/dynamic/EE/V21N14/art21436.pdf
Petra Dickmann, Franklin Apfel, Nadine Biedenkopf, Markus Eickmann and Stephan Becker (2015): Marburg Biosafety and Biosecurity Scale (MBBS) a framework for risk assessment and risk communication, Health Security 03/2015, 2(13): 88-95. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/hs.2014.0065
Petra Dickmann, Katharina Wittgens, Sam Keeping, Dorothea Mischler and Ursel Heudorf (2015): Re-thinking risk communication: information needs of patients, health professionals and the public regarding MRSA - the communicative behaviour of a public health network in Germany responding to the demand for information. Public Health 12/2015. http://www.publichealthjrnl.com/article/S0033-3506(15)00463-1/abstract
Petra Dickmann, Sam Keeping, Nora Doering, Andrea Schmidt, Claudia Pasch, Sergio Arino-Blasco and Joan Gil (2017): MRSA and risk communication. Regulations, practices and policy approaches in five European countries. Frontiers in Public Health, 5:44. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2017.00044 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2017.00044/full