Leah Johnson, PhD is the Senior Director of Biomedical Technologies at RTI International and leads a research team in the development of polymeric materials for health applications. Dr. Johnson serves as principal investigator for multiple programs, spearheading product development efforts for controlled drug delivery and nanomaterials. Dr. Johnson’s research group is developing biodegradable subdermal implants for various medical indications, including the prevention and treatment of HIV, contraception, and as a multipurpose prevention technology. By emphasizing highly collaborative research efforts, she addresses gaps in the translation of early-stage products for implementation and market adoption. Dr. Johnson is also leading efforts to design and fabricate novel nanoplastics to ascertain the biological responses from environmentally ubiquitous plastics.
Prior to joining RTI in 2012, Dr. Johnson held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University where she worked to develop a bio-separation process for acoustic-mediated rare cell isolation and a triggered release system for tissue engineering applications. She has also served as a patent analyst at Lathrop & Gage Law Offices and held a research position at Gilead Sciences. Dr. Johnson is an avid runner and beekeeper.