Center for Childhood Cancer
The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Dr. Johnson received his PhD degree in Neuroscience from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in New York, NY investigating the transcriptional regulation of the MDR1 gene by the p53 family of proteins (p63 and p73). He continued these studies as a post-doctoral fellow at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick, NJ. Interested in pediatric brain tumor development he continued his post-doctoral career in the Developmental Neurobiology department at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. In 2010 he became a Principal Investigator at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Johnson helped to develop the first mouse model for ependymoma, the third most common pediatric brain tumor and the most common adult spinal cord tumor. Up to 40% of cases are incurable and chemotherapy for the most part is ineffective. His laboratory is currently investigating the signaling pathways and genetic mutations involved in the development of this disease in hopes of identifying alternative treatment options.