Richard T. and Frances W. Johnson Professorship Builds Upon Legacy of the Dept. of Neurology Founding Four

On September 30th, Ellen Mowry, MD, MCR, was installed as the Richard T. and Frances W. Johnson Professor of Neurology. Dr. Richard “Dick” Johnson was one of the founding Directors of the Johns Hopkins Department of Neurology recruited by Vernon Mountcastle. Dr. Mountcastle, the legendary founder of neuroscience, invited Dr. Johnson to come to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Neurology and to establish a new Department of Neurology with Dr. Guy McKhann in 1969. Along with Drs. Daniel Drachman and John Griffin, these four physician scientists built the Department of Neurology and its divisions, cementing Johns Hopkins as a leader in neurology and at the forefront of many advancements that define the field today.

The Richard T. and Frances W. Johnson Professorship was established with leadership support from the children and their respective spouses and partners— Matthew Johnson and Venus Nicolino, Nathan Johnson and Shari Edwards, Erica and David Meadows, and Carlton Johnson and Bonnie Ferguson—and nephew Stephen Friend and his wife Diana, of Dr. and Mrs. Johnson, to honor their legacies. Many other family, friends, and colleagues made contributions as well. Dr. Mowry is a professor of Neurology and Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She serves as Chief Medical Officer for inHealth and the co-director of the Johns Hopkins Multiple Sclerosis Precision Medicine Center of Excellence. Dr. Mowry joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 2011. A dedicated educator, committed to mentoring and training the next generation of physician-scientists, Dr. Mowry established the Clinical Research Methodology for Inspired Neurology Residents, a monthly lecture series for Johns Hopkins neurology residents, and serves as the co-director of the neuroimmunology clinical research fellowship. Dr. Mowry follows Dr. Johnson’s patients and will carry forward his important work.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Dr. John Griffin was among the physician scientists who established the Department of Neurology in 1969. Dr. Griffin was one of the first residents of the program. He established the peripheral nerve disease group, earning him a place among the department’s “Founding Four.” During his nearly four decades with Hopkins, he became one of the world’s top experts, both as a clinician and researcher, in his field.