Michael D. L. Johnson, PhD

Assistant Professor, Immunobiology
Assistant Professor, BIO5 Institute

Michael D. L. Johnson received his bachelors from Duke University. He obtained a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he studied the effects of calcium on bacterial motility and attachment under the mentorship of Matthew Redinbo. For his postdoctoral training, Michael Johnson went to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in order to work with Jason Rosch on metal homeostasis of Streptococcus pneumoniae and subsequently with Douglas Green on the mechanisms of LC3-associated phagocytosis. Michael Johnson joined the faculty of the University of Arizona in 2016.

Research Interests: 

Metals serve as vital nutrients to all biological systems. The overall goal of my laboratory is to investigate how bacteria maintain homeostasis within the metal milieu. This goal involves determining how metals are processed, the orchestrated response during metal sensing, and the role that the host plays in this process during infection. Understanding how bacteria interact with metals during infections will identify novel therapeutic strategies against bacterial infections. 

Degrees
  • PhD: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • BA: Duke University, 2004
Honors and Awards
  • Keystone Symposia Fellow, 2016
  • Health Scholar, Aspen Ideas Festival – Spotlight Health, 2015
Fellowship
  • Post-doctoral Fellow: St. Jude Children's Hospital, Memphis, TN

Recent Publications

2018

Cunha, L. D., M. Yang, R. Carter, C. Guy, L. Harris, J. C. Crawford, G. Quarato, E. Boada-Romero, H. Kalkavan, M. D. L. Johnson, et al., "LC3-Associated Phagocytosis in Myeloid Cells Promotes Tumor Immune Tolerance.", Cell, vol. 175, issue 2, pp. 429-441.e16, 2018 10 04. PMCID: PMC6201245  PMID: 30245008

2017

Neubert, M. J., E. A. Dahlmann, A. Ambrose, and M. D. L. Johnson, "Copper Chaperone CupA and Zinc Control CopY Regulation of the Pneumococcal Operon.", mSphere, vol. 2, issue 5, 2017 Sep-Oct. PMCID: PMC5646241  PMID: 29062896

2016

Echlin, H., M. W. Frank, A. Iverson, T-C. Chang, M. D. L. Johnson, C. O. Rock, and J. W. Rosch, "Pyruvate Oxidase as a Critical Link between Metabolism and Capsule Biosynthesis in Streptococcus pneumoniae.", PLoS Pathog, vol. 12, issue 10, pp. e1005951, 2016 Oct. PMCID: PMC5070856  PMID: 27760231
Meliopoulos, V. A., L-A. Van de Velde, N. C. Van de Velde, E. A. Karlsson, G. Neale, P. Vogel, C. Guy, S. Sharma, S. Duan, S. L. Surman, et al., "An Epithelial Integrin Regulates the Amplitude of Protective Lung Interferon Responses against Multiple Respiratory Pathogens.", PLoS Pathog, vol. 12, issue 8, pp. e1005804, 2016 08. PMCID: PMC4978498  PMID: 27505057
Johnson, M. D. L., and K. A. Ayers, "Science Sound Bites, a Podcast for STEM Curriculum Supplementation.", J Microbiol Biol Educ, vol. 17, issue 2, pp. 286-7, 2016 May. PMCID: PMC4858367  PMID: 27158312

2015

Johnson, M. D. L., T. E. Kehl-Fie, R. Klein, J. Kelly, C. Burnham, B. Mann, and J. W. Rosch, "Role of copper efflux in pneumococcal pathogenesis and resistance to macrophage-mediated immune clearance.", Infect Immun, vol. 83, issue 4, pp. 1684-94, 2015 Apr. PMCID: PMC4363445  PMID: 25667262
Johnson, M. D. L., H. Echlin, T. H. Dao, and J. W. Rosch, "Characterization of NAD salvage pathways and their role in virulence in Streptococcus pneumoniae.", Microbiology, vol. 161, issue 11, pp. 2127-36, 2015 Nov. PMID: 26311256
Johnson, M. D. L., T. E. Kehl-Fie, and J. W. Rosch, "Copper intoxication inhibits aerobic nucleotide synthesis in Streptococcus pneumoniae.", Metallomics, vol. 7, issue 5, pp. 786-94, 2015 May. PMCID: PMC4431907  PMID: 25730343

2013

Honsa, E. S., M. D. L. Johnson, and J. W. Rosch, "The roles of transition metals in the physiology and pathogenesis of Streptococcus pneumoniae.", Front Cell Infect Microbiol, vol. 3, pp. 92, 2013. PMCID: PMC3849628  PMID: 24364001
Cheng, Y., M. D. L. Johnson, C. Burillo-Kirch, J. C. Mocny, J. E. Anderson, C. K. Garrett, M. R. Redinbo, and C. E. Thomas, "Mutation of the conserved calcium-binding motif in Neisseria gonorrhoeae PilC1 impacts adhesion but not piliation.", Infect Immun, vol. 81, issue 11, pp. 4280-9, 2013 Nov. PMCID: PMC3811810  PMID: 24002068