Eric Otto Johnson

Senior Fellow, Senior Research Scientist

Eric Otto Johnson


  • Postdoctoral fellowships in epidemiology (Johns Hopkins University) and genetics (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
  • PhD, Sociology, Western Michigan University
  • MA, Sociology, Western Michigan University
  • BA, Sociology and Psychology, Olivet Nazarene University.

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Eric Otto Johnson, PhD, has more than 20 years of experience bridging the fields of social and genetic epidemiology: examining substance use, HIV, mental, and sleep disorders. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and led numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants in these areas of research.

Dr. Johnson is currently leading several major studies regarding opioid addiction and HIV focused on gene discovery, gene regulation, and integrative ‘omics. These studies are helping researchers identify genetic variants and potential molecular mechanisms underlying risks associated with developing these conditions. With this information, Dr. Johnson and his colleagues are working to identify new targets for medication development and to better target therapies to individual patient's needs. He is also developing new work identifying the biological impact of environmental exposures (epigenetic epidemiology).

Dr. Johnson is the former chair of the Behavioral Genetics and Epidemiology Study Section in the Center for Scientific Review at the NIH. He continues to serve on numerous other review, mentorship, and expert panels across the NIH.