National Wildlife Health Center

...advancing wildlife and ecosystem health

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Christopher J. Johnson

Title:Research Biologist
Phone: 608-270-2400 #2361

Education and/or Training

B.S. 1999 University of Wisconsin - Madison Molecular Biology
Ph.D. 2007 University of Wisconsin - Madison Cellular & Molecular Biology
Grad.Cert 2011 Purdue University Veterinary Homeland Security

Areas of Specialization and or Research Interests

Molecular Biology
Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies
Emerging and Zoonotic Disease
Environmental Persistence of Disease Agents

Current USGS Research and Projects

Environmental persistence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) agent
Degradation of prions in the environment
Interspecies prion disease transmission

Professional Experience

2009 – present Trainer, UW-Madison Bacteriology Master of Science Program
2009 – present Research Biologist, National Wildlife Health Center
2007 – 2009 Post-Doctoral Researcher, Montana State University, National Wildlife Health Center
2001 – 2007 Graduate Research Assistant, Program in Cellular & Molecular Biology, UW-Madison
1999 – 2001 Research Specialist, UW-Madison Veterinary School

Professional Activities and/or Memberships

PLOS ONE, Academic Editor, 2012-Present
Sigma Xi Honor Society, 2009-Present
Board Member, UW Synchrotron Radiation Center User Advisory Board, 2005 - Stoughton, WI

Honors and/or Awards

Invited Speaker 2014 Prion2014 Animal TSE Workshop Udine, Italy
Invited Speaker 2013 The Wildlife Society Annual Conference Milwaukee, WI
Mentored Student 2010 Excellence in Masters Student Research UW Bacteriology
Session Chair 2009 3rd International CWD Symposium Park City, UT
Invited Speaker 2005 Synchrotron Radiation Center 38th User's Meeting Stoughton, WI
Invited Speaker 2005 2nd International Chronic Wasting Disease Symposium Madison, WI
Graduate Student Mentor Award 2003 UW - Madison Graduate School Madison, WI
Invited Speaker 2000 6th International Endotoxin Society Conference Institut Pasteur, Paris, France

Selected Publications

Carlson, C.M., Schneider, J.R., Pedersen, J.A., Heisey, D.M. and Johnson, C. J. Experimental Infection of Meadow Voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) with Sheep Scrapie. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research. Accepted for publication.

Smith, C.B., Booth, C.J., Wadzinski, T.J., Legname, G., Chappell, R., Johnson, C. J. and Pedersen J.A. Humic Substances Interfere with Detection of Pathogenic Prion Protein. Soil Biology & Biochemistry. 68, 309-316 (2014).

Johnson, C. J., Gilbert, P.U.P.A., Abrecht, M., Baldwin, K.L., Russell, R.E., Pedersen, J.A., Aiken, J.M. and McKenzie, D. Low Copper and High Manganese Levels in Prion Protein Plaques. Viruses-Basel. 5, 654-662 (2013).

Booth, C.J., Johnson, C. J. and Pedersen, J.A. Microbial and Enzymatic Inactivation of Prions in Soil Environments. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 59, 1-15 (2013).

Nemecek, J., Nag, N., Carlson, C.M., Schneider, J.R., Heisey, D.M., Johnson, C. J., Asher, D.M. and Gregori, L. Red-Backed Vole Brain Promotes Highly Efficient In Vitro Amplification of Abnormal Prion Protein from Macaque and Human Brains Infected with Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Agent. PLOS ONE. 8, e78710 (2013).

Morawski, A.R. Carlson, C.M., Chang, H. and Johnson, C. J. In vitro Prion Protein Conversion Suggests Risk of Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) to Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies. BMC Veterinary Research. 9, 1-12 (2013).

Bennett, J.P., Rodriguez, C.M. and Johnson, C. J. Degradation of Prion Protein by Lichens of the Genus Cladonia. The Lichenologist. 44, 523-531 (2012).

Rodriguez, C.M., Bennett, J.P. and Johnson C.J. Lichens: Unexpected Anti-prion Agents? Prion. 6, 11-16 (2012).

Johnson, C. J., Bennett, J.P., Biro, S.M., Duque-Velasquez, J.C., Rodriguez, C.M., Bessen, R.A. and Rocke, T.E. Degradation of the Disease-associated Prion Protein by a Serine Protease from Lichens. PLoS ONE. 6, e19836 (2011).

Johnson, C.J., McKenzie, D. Pedersen, J.A. and Aiken, J.M. Meat and Bone Meal and Mineral Food and Feed Additives Increase the Risk of Oral Prion Disease Transmission. J. Toxicol & Environ Health A. 74, 1-6 (2011).

Kurt, T.D., Seelig, D.M., Schneider, J.R., Johnson, C.J., Telling, G.C., Heisey, D.M. and Hoover, E.A. Alteration of the Chronic Wasting Disease Species Barrier by in vitro Prion Amplification. J. Virol. 85, 8528-8537 (2011).

Alberg, E.S., Cross, P.C., Johnson, C.J., Heisey, D.M. and Richards, B.J. Modelling Routes of Chronic Wasting Disease Transmission: Environmental Prion Persistence Promotes Deer Population Decline and Extinction. PLoS ONE. 6, e19896 (2011).

Heisey D.M., Mickelsen N.A., Schneider J.R., Johnson, C.J., Langenberg J.A., Bochsler P.N., Keane D.P., Barr D.J. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) susceptibility of several North American rodents that are sympatric with cervid CWD epidemics. J. Virol. In Press.

Johnson, C.J., Gilbert P., McKenzie D., Pedersen J.A., Aiken J.M. Ultraviolet-ozone treatment reduces levels of disease-associated prion protein and prion infectivity. BMC Res. Notes. 6, 121. 2009.

Russo F., Johnson, C.J., Johnson C.J., McKenzie D., Aiken J.M. and Pedersen J.A. Pathogenic prion protein is degraded by a manganese oxide mineral found in soils. J. Gen Virol. 90, 275-280. 2009

Johnson, C.J., Pedersen, J.A., Chappell, R.J., McKenzie, D. and Aiken, J.M. Oral Transmissibility of Prion Disease is Enhanced by Binding to Soil Particles. PLoS Pathog. 4, e93. 2007.

Johnson, C.J., Phillips, K.E., Schramm, P.T., McKenzie, D., Aiken, J.M. and Pedersen, J.A. Prions Adhere to Soil Minerals and Remain Infectious. PLoS Pathog. 2, e32. 2006.

Hoefert, V.B., Aiken, J.M., McKenzie, D. and Johnson, C.J. Labeling of the Scrapie-associated Prion Protein in vitro and in vivo. Neurosci. Lett. 2-3, 176-180.2004.

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