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Dr. Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson, Ph.D.

Program Director
Division of Cancer Biology (DCB)

Dr. Ron Johnson has expertise in chemical and tobacco carcinogenesis, gene expression, and cancer biology of the lung and bladder. He manages a portfolio of grants focusing on chemical carcinogens, p53 activities, and molecular mechanisms related to gene expression and DNA damage in cancers of the lung, bladder and liver.

Dr. Johnson is interested in emerging areas related to environmental exposures and cancer, including  E-cigarettes, cannabis and mutation signatures. 

Along with his work in DCB, Dr. Johnson is a member of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)-NCI Cancer and the Environment Working Group, NCI Cannabis and Cancer Research Interest Group (CCRIG), and the NIH Tobacco and Nicotine Research Interest Group (TANRIG).  


Research Programs

Dr. Johnson also helps manage an NCI cooperative agreement program and an international initiative:



Prior to his work as a DCB program director, Dr. Johnson worked at the NIH Chemical Genomics Center in the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS). He was a project team leader for conducting small molecule screens and developing high-throughput assays.  

Dr. Johnson came to DCB because of the opportunity to support basic cancer research. He says, “What appealed to me about the division was the ability to help move cancer biology forward.”


  • Ph.D., Biochemistry, John Hopkins School of Medicine  
  • B.S., Biology, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
  • Updated: