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Mark Johnson to lead Department of Neurosurgery

Expert in brain tumors, hydrocephalus, will join UMMS in November

  Mark Johnson, MD, PhD
  Mark Johnson, MD, PhD

Mark D. Johnson, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School, will join UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center as the chair of the Department of Neurosurgery in November, Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the School of Medicine, has announced.

Dr. Johnson, currently practicing at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital Boston and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, is a widely-known expert in the management of brain tumors and is the director of programs for adult hydrocephalus and neurosurgical pain management.

“While maintaining a robust clinical practice, he leads a translational research lab focused on adult hydrocephalus and on the genomics, cell biology and treatment of brain tumors,” said Dr. Flotte. “His laboratory has contributed several significant advances to our understanding of neuro-oncology, including a novel glioblastoma subclass and a novel pathway that can be targeted for treatment.”

Since 2003, Johnson has published more than 20 peer-reviewed articles and educational reviews, attracted more than $6 million in external research funding, and trained and mentored more than 15 neurosurgical residents and 23 postdoctoral fellows and students.

“Dr. Johnson is also actively engaged in numerous professional, editorial and community service related activities and is a sought-after speaker who has earned awards for his clinical care, research, mentorship and leadership,” said Flotte. Johnson was recently elected to the American Academy of Neurosurgery, and he is also a permanent member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Johnson earned his undergraduate degree at Amherst College and his MD and PhD at Harvard; he did his postdoctoral training at the University of Washington; the Atkinson Morely Hospital in the United Kingdom; and at the Oregon Health & Science University.

“Since we conferred department status on neurosurgery in 2012, Richard P. Moser, MD, has served with distinction as interim chair,” Flotte said. “Under Dr. Moser’s capable leadership, this new department has established notable strengths in providing high-quality clinical care, education and translational research. We are excited to welcome Dr. Johnson to this new leadership role.”

Flotte also thanked members of the search committee, led by Robert H. Brown Jr., DPhil, MD, professor and chair of neurology, for their time and efforts.