Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson

Assistant Professor in Psychiatry

Education & Training

  • PhD in Psychology – Behavioral, Psychiatric, and Statistical Genetics: University of Colorado Boulder, 2017
  • BSPH in Biostatistics: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2013

Major Awards

  • NIDA-NIAAA Early Career Investigator Showcase awardee, 2021
  • WCPG Early Career Investigator Program – Oral Presentation Award winner, 2019
  • RSA Memorial Award, 2019
  • ASHG Reviewer’s Choice Abstract, 2017

Research Interests

My long-term research goal is to better understand the genetic architecture of psychiatric disorders, particularly focusing on substance use and addictions. Within addictions, I am particularly interested in the study of more commonly used drugs, such as alcohol and cannabis. One current area of research interest is characterizing the relationships between substance use disorders and other psychiatric disorders and mental health conditions, including schizophrenia, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and chronic pain. A second area of research interest is using approaches from the population and evolutionary genetics fields to learn more about the genetic architecture of psychiatric disorders. I am currently one of the analysts for the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium’s Substance Use Disorders working group and a co-investigator in the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism.

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Key Publications

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    Funded Research Projects

    Brain and Behavior Research Foundation(PI):The impact of prenatal cannabis exposure on placental epigenetics – implications for newborn brain and socio-emotional development
    NIDA(Significant Contributor):7/7 Psychiatric Genomics Consortium: Advancing Discovery and Impact
    NIDA(PI):Identifying genetic sources of comorbidity between cannabis and schizophrenia using genome-wide and integrative omics data
    NIH(Significant Contributor):Large-scale genome-wide analyses of a Danish population-based cohort to outline the genetic architecture of substance use disorders
    NIDA(Significant Contributor):Neurobehavioral pathways of polygenic and polyenvironmental effects on the onset and maintenance of substance involvement
    CDC(Significant Contributor):Study to Explore Early Development (SEED) Follow Up Studies, Components A,B,D & E