Dan Johnson, PhD

Professor and Vice Chair of Research
1450 Third St, Rm 268
UCSF Box 3111
San Francisco, CA 94158
United States
About Me 

Daniel Johnson, PhD, is Professor and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS) at the University of California, San Francisco. He obtained a bachelor of science in chemistry and a bachelor of arts in mathematics, both from North Park University in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Johnson earned his MA and PhD in molecular biology from Princeton University, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. Prior to joining UCSF Otolaryngology, Dr. Johnson was a Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, and Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Johnson was also the Scientific Director of the Acute Leukemia Working group at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Dr. Johnson has published 68 original papers and 21 reviews and book chapters, and is Editor for the book entitled “Cell Death Signaling in Cancer Biology and Treatment”. He has maintained continuous NIH funding as a principal investigator since 1995, and has served as a standing member for both NIH and ACS study sections. Dr. Johnson continues to play an active role on multiple review panels for the NIH, VA, and other granting agencies. Since 2001 he has served as a Section Editor for Leukemia, the top-ranked journal for hematologic malignancies, and has also served as Editor for Cancer Research and Oncology Research. Dr. Johnson places a high priority on translating findings from his lab to the clinic, and has facilitated the development of clinical trials in both leukemia and head and neck cancer.

Dr. Johnson greatly values teaching and serving as a mentor for individuals with a broad variety of educational backgrounds. He has served as primary mentor for 32 trainees in his lab. Most of his trainees have gone on to higher academic or clinical positions, including 10 who are now junior faculty at academic institutions. He was the first lab-based faculty to be awarded the G. David Roodman Excellence in Mentorship Award by the University of Pittsburgh Hematology/Oncology Clinical Fellows. At the University of Pittsburgh he also was a leader for the Career Mentoring Program for junior faculty, and taught extensively in both the graduate and medical schools.

Head and Neck Oncology

Molecular biology and molecular genetics of head and neck cancer, anti-cancer drug development

Professional Interests:
Development of new therapeutic strategies and agents for head and neck cancer, mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance, cell death mechanisms, mentoring

Education and Training:
• Graduate School: Princeton University, NJ – M.A., Molecular Biology
• Graduate School: Princeton University, NJ – Ph.D., Molecular Biology
• Postdoctoral Fellowship: University of California, San Francisco

Awards and Honors:
• 2015-present – Oncology Research Editorial Board
• 2014 – G. David Roodman Excellence in Mentorship Award from Hematology/Oncology Fellows
• 2010-2013 – Cancer Research Editorial Board
• 2007 – Hillman Fellow for Innovative Cancer Research
• 2001-present – Leukemia Section Editor
• 1999-present – Leukemia Editorial Board
• 1994-95 – Fellow of the Lymphoma Research Foundation of America
• 1990 – Henry Christian Outstanding Abstract in Cardiology, AFCR
• 1988-1992 – Fellow of the Cardiovascular Research Institute, UCSF
• 1989 – American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship
• 1982 – Graduated summa cum laude, North Park College
• 1981 – Walter E. Olson Memorial Scholarship Fund
• 1981 – J. Paul Bennett Chemistry Award
• 1980-82 – President, North Park University Mathematics Society
• 1979 – Oscar E. Olson Memorial Scholarship Fund in Mathematics