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Sara B. Johnson, M.P.H., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Sara B. Johnson, M.P.H., Ph.D.

Director, General Academic Pediatrics Fellowship

Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Expertise: Adolescent Medicine, General Pediatrics

Research Interests: Child health; Adolescent health; Lifecourse; Self-regulation; Developmental origins of health and disease; Health disparities; Neurodevelopment; stress and health; Injury prevention ...read more

Contact for Research Inquiries

David M. Rubenstein Child Health Building
200 N Wolfe St, Rm 2017
Baltimore, MD map

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Background

Dr. Sara B. Johnson is an associate professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with a joint appointment in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health in the Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

Her research focuses on how early-life environments may lead to biologic and cognitive changes that affect health in adolescence and young adulthood. Her other research interests include the role of adolescent neurodevelopment in risk of injury and violence and adolescent injury prevention policy. 

Dr. Johnson serves as the director of the general academic pediatric fellowship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

She received her master of public health degree and her Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Johnson is a former Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco, and UC Berkley. 

Dr. Johnson has earned the Bloomberg School of Public Health Excellence in Teaching Award for four consecutive years (2011 - 2014).

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Titles

  • Director, General Academic Pediatrics Fellowship
  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Education

Degrees

  • M.P.H., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Maryland) (2001)
  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Maryland) (2005)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Johnson’s research interest is in understanding how social experiences (e.g., poverty, family relationships, neighborhood characteristics and life events) shape the biology of child development. Specifically, she is interested in the development and plasticity of behavioral and physiological self-regulation. She has examined the role of early life stress in shaping self-regulatory development from the fetal period to age five. Other research interests include neurodevelopment in adolescence and its implications for adolescent health policy, social influences on neurodevelopmental trajectories, and adolescent injury prevention.

Selected Publications

Bair-Merritt MH, Johnson SB, Okelo S, Page G. "Intimate partner violence exposure, salivary cortisol, and childhood asthma." Child Abuse Negl. 2012 Jul-Aug;36(7-8):596-601. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2011.12.002. Epub 2012 Jul 31.

Granger DA, Johnson SB, Szanton SL, Out D, Schumann LL. "Incorporating salivary biomarkers into nursing research: an overview and review of best practices." Biol Res Nurs. 2012 Oct;14(4):347-56. Epub 2012 May 15.

Johnson SB, Riley AW, Granger DA, Riis JA. "The science of early life toxic stress for pediatric practice and advocacy." Pediatrics. 2013 Feb; 131(2): 319–327. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-0469.

Johnson SB, Blum RW. "Stress and the brain: how experiences and exposures across the life span shape health, development, and learning in adolescence." J Adolesc Health. 2012 Aug;51(2 Suppl):S1-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.06.001.

Johnson SB, Dariotis JK, Wang C. "Adolescent risk taking under stressed and nonstressed conditions: conservative, calculating, and impulsive types." J Adolesc Health. 2012 Aug;51(2 Suppl):S34-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.04.021.

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Population, Family and Reproductive Health

Activities & Honors

Honors

  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2011 - 2014
  • Advising, Mentoring and Teaching Recognition Award, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2013
  • National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program Recipient, 2006 - 2011
  • Delta Omega, Alpha Chapter, Honorary Society in Public Health, 2006
  • William Haddon, Jr. Fellowship in Injury Prevention, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2004 - 2005
  • National Institute of Mental Health, Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, Interdisciplinary Research Training on Violence, T32 #MH20014, 2001 - 2003
  • School of Public Health Merit Scholarship, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, 2000 - 2001
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1997
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