Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has a complex etiology, and CVD patients show a wide range of responses to therapeutic interventions. Dr. Johnson’s laboratory research focuses on understanding genetic and genomic underpinnings of this individual variability in therapeutically targeted CVD pathways. In particular, his work focuses on understanding individual variability in platelet development, function, and response to treatment. Drugs that decrease platelet reactivity, such as aspirin, are commonly used to reduce the risks of cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction. Dr. Johnson is interested in the pharmacogenetics of anti-platelet treatments and resulting CVD outcomes. His laboratory applies population-scale approaches to the problem including genetic studies, collaboration with clinician-scientists, studies of gene expression variability in human tissues, and bioinformatics and systems biology approaches. His group makes particular use of the Framingham Heart Study and the rich amount of epidemiologic and genetic data it has accumulated over the years.
Additionally, the Johnson laboratory creates and applies cutting edge genomic and bioinformatics resources. In addition to advancing the goals of his research group and others at the NHLBI, these resources are be made freely available to benefit the wider scientific community, and help advance our understanding of CVD variability. To date these resources include SNAP (SNP Annotation and Proxy Search: http://www.broadinstitute.org/mpg/snap/), a fast human linkage disequilibrium query and annotation interface for worldwide population genetic samples, retired around 2016 with >4 million uses and >1,350 academic citations; GRASP (Genome-wide Repository of Associations between SNPs and Phenotypes), one of the largest and deepest databases of human genetic associations with >750 academic citations; and the COVID-19 public GWAS portal (Thibord et al., 2022).
Meet the Team
Andrew Johnson, Ph.D.
Andrew Johnson earned a B.S. in vertebrate physiology from the Pennsylvania State University in 1998. He subsequently worked on gene regulatory research in C. elegans and neuroelectrophysiology in rodents before entering graduate school in 2003. He earned a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from Ohio State University in 2007 with dual emphases in bioinformatics and pharmacogenomics. He came to the NIH for post-doctoral training in 2007, became a tenure track investigator in 2012 and was promoted to a tenured Senior Investigator in 2019. Dr. Johnson has been nominated for and received numerous awards including the NHLBI Lenfant Fellowship, the NHLBI Orloff Science Award, the CHARGE Consortium Early Career Investigator Award and Genome Technology’s Young Investigator Award, and was elected as a Fellow of the American Heart Association. He has published more than 210 papers and has served as a reviewer for more than 65 journals. His full publication record is found on NCBI. Dr. Johnson has served on numerous committees of the Framingham Heart Study, the American Heart Association, and the International Society for Thrombosis and Haemostasis. He currently chairs the NHLBI TOPMed Hematology and Hemostasis Working Group and the Framingham Heart Study Genetic Steering Committee. He is also a member of the American Society for Human Genetics, the International Society for Computational Biology and the International Society for Thrombosis and Haemostasis.