Dr. Johnson’s research focuses on identifying genetic and environmental factors for cancer, with a particular emphasis on understanding the etiology of cancer development in the pediatric population and in individuals with inherited cancer syndromes. Her work is cross-disciplinary and employs both traditional and novel epidemiological and genomic tools.
Dr. Johnson is currently the principal investigator of an international patient registry of individuals with the cancer syndrome Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1) that incurs a strongly increased risk for a number of different tumor types, including pediatric brain tumors. Dr. Johnson is conducting studies in this population that aim to understand genetic and environmental determinants of pediatric brain tumors. Dr. Johnson also collaborates with investigators at The Washington University Genome Institute to develop and apply biologically informed software tools for the analysis and discovery of genomic risk factors for cancer in both adults and children.
Dr. Johnson’s research has received financial support from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer, the American Cancer Society, Siteman Cancer Center, and the National Cancer Institute. She is a member of the Institute for Public Health, Siteman Cancer Center, the American Association for Cancer Research, and has a secondary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics at the Washington University School of Medicine.
Dr. Johnson trained at the University of Minnesota, completing her doctorate in epidemiology in 2007 and postdoctoral fellowship in 2010. She joined the Brown School MPH faculty in 2010. She teaches Foundations in Public Health: Epidemiology and Cancer Epidemiology in the Brown School MPH program.