Leading the way

Leading the way

Researcher becomes first female dean of the College of Pharmacy

By Linda Homewood
Julie Johnson

Photo By Maria Belen Farias

Julie A. Johnson, Pharm.D., has been named dean of the College of Pharmacy, becoming the seventh dean and the first woman to hold the appointment in the college’s 90-year history.

A faculty member of the UF College of Pharmacy since 1998, Johnson served for nine years as chair of the department of pharmacotherapy and translational research, and has received nearly $35 million in National Institutes of Health funding. Before joining UF, she held a faculty position for nine years at the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy.

“Through a rigorous national search and a field of superb finalists, Dr. Johnson emerged as uniquely qualified and well-suited for this position,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs and president of UF Health. “Her extraordinary record of research that translates into improved patient care, her demonstrated ability to mentor faculty into successful research careers, her history of excellence in teaching and outreach at the University of Florida, and her ambitious vision for the College of Pharmacy’s future made her the ideal candidate for dean.”

As a leader and researcher, Johnson is renowned in the fields of pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine. She leads the International Warfarin Pharmacogenetics Consortium comprising more than 40 researchers from institutions worldwide. Pharmacy board-certified in pharmacotherapy and cardiology, her research efforts have focused on individualizing medicine for patients based on their genetic makeup, particularly those with high blood pressure and other heart diseases.

“It is my great honor to be selected to serve as the next dean of the UF College of Pharmacy,” Johnson said. “I look forward to working with our faculty, staff and students to elevate our research productivity, enhance our educational programs and extend our relationships with practicing pharmacists across the state.”

A distinguished professor of pharmacy and medicine, Johnson was named the V. Ravi Chandran professor of pharmaceutical sciences in 2004. She currently directs the UF Center for Pharmacogenomics and the UF Health Personalized Medicine Program, and has published more than 200 journal articles, editorials and book chapters.

Johnson, who is serving as chair for the NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute Genomic Medicine Pilot Demonstration network, was awarded $3.7 million this June by the institute to continue the UF Health Personalized Medicine Program at the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

“Julie has shown a unique ability to develop partnerships across the Health Science Center and help the CTSI build an innovative and nationally recognized program,” said David R. Nelson, M.D., UF assistant vice president for collaborative research in the life sciences and director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. “She is the ideal person to help leverage the extensive strengths of the College of Pharmacy to enhance the mission of UF Health and the university.”

Serving leadership roles in many national and international organizations in pharmacy and medicine, Johnson is an elected fellow of the American Heart Association and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. Additionally she has served the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, the Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee for the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health, among other organizations. She is a scientific editor for the journal Pharmacotherapy, and serves on the editorial boards for several scientific and medical publications.