Christopher N. Johnson

Christopher N. Johnson


  • Faculty


  • Biochemistry


  • Assistant Professor



  • Hand Lab 2238

The Johnson Laboratory: From Atoms to Hearts to Health (AH2)

We study atoms to understand hearts and improve human health




Christopher N. Johnson, Ph.D. Dr. Johnson is a structural biologist that utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach to understand how calcium modifies the function of proteins in excitable cells such as ion channels. Working at the interface of science and medicine, his laboraotries research combines structural biology, biophysics, and electrophysiology to understand how the intracellular calcium sensing protein “calmodulin” senses changes in calcium concentration and modifies protein-protein interactions. By developing a detailed understanding of structure (NMR), function (whole cell patch clamp), and timing (stopped-flow), they seek to: (i) understand mechanisms that govern physiology, and genetically driven channelopathies, (ii) develop small molecule probes that test our models, and (iii) explore novel strategies for treating excitable cell disease.



Afsar Alam Following completion of his MS at University of Dhaka and six years as a research scientist at ICDDR,B, Afsar joined our team to expand his skills in molecular and cellular cardiac physiology.


Research Focus: Post-translational modification of ion channel function and calcium signaling in cardiomycoytes.


Developing Skills: Cardiomyocyte Isolation, Calcium Imaging by Confocal Microscopy, and whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology

Hobbies: Cricket, Gardening, and Fishing

Taylor Agee Originally from Huntsville, Alabama, Taylor received her B.S. in Chemistry from Mississippi State in 2021. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in the Johnson laboroatry.

Research Focus: pH modification of voltage gated ion channel function

Developing Skills: Cell Culture, iPSC-CMs, CRISPR Cas9 editing, and Whole Cell Patch-Clamp Electrophysiology

Hobbies: Coaching the MSU Dance Team

Rita Gyawu  Completed her BS from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana.





Research Focus: Describing Mechanisms of Pharmecutical Modification of Voltage Gated Ion Channels.


Developing Skills: Whole Cell Patch Clamp Electrophysiology

Hobbies:  Reading and Long Car Rides

Sara Garcia Originally from Colorado, Sara joined our team after completing her BS in Biochemistry from Colorado State University.


Rsearch Focus: Biophysics of calcium sensing by calmodulin


Developing Skills: Recominant Protein Production, Solution NMR Spectroscopy, Molecular Biology

Hobbies:  Reading and Murder Mystery Shows


Garrett Knotts Congratulations to Garrett on his Recent Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Award!

Congratulations to Garrett his recent Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Award!

Developing Skills: Solution NMR, Fluorescence Spectroscopy

Hobbies: Rock Climbing and Hiking

Luke Losordo


Developing Skills: Fluorescence Spectroscopy, Protein Purification


Hobbies:  Playing Soccer and White-Water Rafting

Emily Campbell




Developing Skills: Molecular Dynamic Simulations of Ion Channels

Hobbies:  Playing the Violin and the Ukulele



Ryan B. Williams


Check out my recent publication


Torien M. Beard  

Stay tuned manuscript coming soon


Kelsie Elmore   


Nolan Binion