Keith Johnson

Associate Professor

Olin Hall 107
(309) 677-3015
kajohnso@bradley.edu

Ph.D. Biochemistry, Dartmouth Medical School

Biography

I grew up in Illinois (north of Chicago) and received a Bachelors of Arts degree in both biology and chemistry from Monmouth College (Monmouth, IL). I received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Dartmouth Medical School (Hanover, NH), investigating the frequency locus of the bread mold (fungus) Neurospora crassa and the role that the large frequency gene has in circadian rhythms in this model system and also characterized the small frequency gene which appears to be a spliced, non-coding gene. I attended Rice University (Houston, TX) for my postdoctoral position with Dr. Janet Braam. We investigated the expression, localization and possible function of the TCH2 gene in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. I taught as a sabbatical replacement faculty member for three years at Colby College (Waterville, ME) in the areas of genetics, molecular genetics, cell biology and plant development. At Colby College I began my collaboration with Dr. Frank Fekete on the identification and characterization of mercury resistant bacteria in the environment. I have been teaching at Bradley University since the fall of 2002.

Teaching

My teaching interests include the freshman Molecules to Cells course for biology and chemistry majors as well as health science and nursing majors. I also teach courses in genetics and plant development, both with laboratories. I will be teaching a course in molecular genetics and one in molecular techniques. I have taught graduate-level courses in Topics in Bioethics, a course in reading, discussing and presenting current literature and the Graduate Thesis Proposal Preparation course. I have also taught the Biotechnology and Society (BIO 301) course for general education.

Scholarship

My research is in the area of molecular genetics and biochemistry. One research area involves characterization resistance mechanisms for mercury and antibiotic resistance in environmental bacteria and in the movement of resistance genes between bacteria. We have recently been investigating mechanisms of antibiotic resistance to a new drug used in aquaculture. Other experiments have involved the investigation of the transfer of resistance between potential probiotic and pathogenic bacteria, the movement of DNA out of a fish pathogenic bacteria, and the co-occurrence of mercury and antibacterial resistance genes. 
I have also been investigating the expression and function of several calmodulin-related (calcium binding) proteins in the model plant system Arabidopsis thaliana. I am interested in determining the function of these proteins in plant development and responses to the environment. We are using recombinant protein generation and protein-protein interaction assays to characterize potential interactions between the calmodulin-related proteins and potential targets. 

My research is in the area of molecular genetics and biochemistry. One research area involves characterization resistance mechanisms for mercury and antibiotic resistance in environmental bacteria and in the movement of resistance genes between bacteria. We have recently been investigating mechanisms of antibiotic resistance to a new drug used in aquaculture. Other experiments have involved the investigation of the transfer of resistance between potential probiotic and pathogenic bacteria, the movement of DNA out of a fish pathogenic bacteria, and the co-occurrence of mercury and antibacterial resistance genes. I have also been investigating the expression and function of several calmodulin-related (calcium binding) proteins in the model plant system Arabidopsis thaliana. I am interested in determining the function of these proteins in plant development and responses to the environment. We are using recombinant protein generation and protein-protein interaction assays to characterize potential interactions between the calmodulin-related proteins and potential targets. 

Service

I have served on departmental committees for candidate searches and on the graduate and curriculum committees. I am currently a member of the Individualized Major Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a member of the NCAUR Institutional Biosafety Committee.