A photo of Joel Mortensen.

Joel E. Mortensen, PhD

  • Director, Diagnostic Infectious Diseases Testing Laboratory (Microbiology and Virology)
  • Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



My research interests involve developing testing methods for infectious diseases via clinical research trials. The type of goals my colleagues and I are attempting to reach through our research is to reduce the time it takes to detect infectious diseases as well as improve the sensitivity and specificity of diagnostic testing by applying cutting-edge technologies.

The patient care I specialize in involves diagnostic testing for infectious diseases. I was inspired to become a healthcare provider and work with children through a deep personal identification with this particular mission.

I have provided direction to the diagnostic laboratory to ensure the highest quality of results for our patients and I have provided consultation services to the healthcare staff in clinical microbiology. I’ve pursued expanding rapid testing approaches in a clinical microbiology laboratory and in outpatient settings.

I have more than 30 years of clinical microbiology experience and first joined the team at Cincinnati Children’s in 1991. In collaboration with faculty and fellows at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, I have participated in more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, text chapters and case studies. Our research has been published in numerous respected journals, such as Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease, Journal of Clinical Microbiology, The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, and Pediatric Quality and Safety.


Intraglandular Off-the-Shelf Allogeneic Mesenchymal Stem Cell Treatment in Patients with Radiation-Induced Xerostomia: A Safety Study (MESRIX-II). Lynggaard, CD; Grønhøj, C; Christensen, R; Fischer-Nielsen, A; Melchiors, J; Specht, L; Andersen, E; Mortensen, J; Oturai, P; Barfod, GH; et al. Stem cells translational medicine. 2022; 11:478-489.

Invasive Malassezia pachydermatis Infection in an 8-Year-Old Child on Lipid Parenteral Nutrition. Teoh, Z; Mortensen, J; Schaffzin, JK. Case Reports in Infectious Diseases. 2022; 2022.

Predicting Oral Beta-lactam susceptibilities against Streptococcus pneumoniae. Murphy, ME; Powell, E; Courter, J; Mortensen, JE. BMC Infectious Diseases. 2021; 21.

Disinfection of Neonatal Resuscitation Equipment in Low-Resource Settings: The Importance, the Reality, and Considerations for the Future. White, AM; Mutai, D; Cheruiyot, D; Rule, AR L; Mortensen, JE; Schaffzin, JK; Kamath-rayne, BD. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18.

AB569, a non-toxic combination of acidified nitrite and EDTA, is effective at killing the notorious Iraq/Afghanistan combat wound pathogens, multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii and Acinetobacter spp. Bogue, AL; Panmanee, W; McDaniel, CT; Mortensen, JE; Kamau, E; Actis, LA; Johannigman, JA; Schurr, MJ; Satish, L; Kotagiri, N; et al. PLoS ONE. 2021; 16.

Chlamydia Conjunctivitis in 2 Prepubertal Children: An Uncommon Presentation of Child Sexual Abuse. Brownell, AD; Utz, VM; Makoroff, KL; Shapiro, RA; Mortensen, JE. Pediatric Emergency Care. 2020; 36:e473-e475.

Combined Molecular and Phenotypic Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing Is Beneficial in Detection of ESBL and AmpC Beta-Lactamase Producing Isolates of Enterobacteriaceae in Pediatric Patients with Bloodstream Infections. Powell, EA; Khalil, N; Deburger, B; Mortensen, JE. Microbial Drug Resistance. 2020; 26:825-830.

AB569, a nontoxic chemical tandem that kills major human pathogenic bacteria. McDaniel, CT; Panmanee, W; Winsor, GL; Gill, E; Bertelli, C; Schurr, MJ; Dongare, P; Paul, AT; Ko, SB; Lau, GW; et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2020; 117:4921-4930.

Multilab evaluation of delafloxacin MIC Test Strip against Gram-negative and Gram-positive organisms. Koeth, LK; DiFranco-Fisher, JM; Hardy, DJ; Mortensen, JE; Palavecino, E; Windau, AW. Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease. 2019; 95.

Multicenter Clinical Validation of the Molecular BD Max Enteric Viral Panel for Detection of Enteric Pathogens. Stokes, W; Simner, PJ; Mortensen, J; Oethinger, M; Stellrecht, K; Lockamy, E; Lay, T; Bouchy, P; Pillai, DR. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2019; 57.