Crystal N. Johnson, Ph.D.

Crystal N. Johnson, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA.  She earned her B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA and her Ph.D. in Microbiology from The University of Alabama at Birmingham.  Johnson’s current research examines how Vibrio spp. (V. parahaemolyticus, V. vulnificus, and V. cholerae) respond to environmental cues, including sea surface temperature, salinity, chlorophyll, turbidity, suspended particulate matter, and dissolved organic carbon. In addition, she is also using phylogenetic typing to examine the genetic relationships among pathogenic vibrios  and how Type III Secretion System (TTSS) help vibrios to evade host immune responses. Her studies have appeared in several notable journals including the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Emerging Infectious Diseases, and Microbial Ecology. She serves as a reviewer for Microbial Ecology and is an Associate Editor for Current Microbiology. Johnson has also won several awards, including the American Society for Microbiology's President's Award for Best Graduate Student Talk, the Minority Access National Role Model Award, and an ASM student travel grant.  She has been featured on Microbe World, "Life on a Half Shell," where she discussed her research on Vibrio parahaemolyticus. 

Johnson serves on the ASM Communications Committee, the ASM Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM), and is also the Associate Editor of CMIIM's The Minority Microbiology Mentor.  She has also established the Summer Research Internship (SumRI), in which two high school students spend 6-8 weeks in her lab each summer doing hands-on research.  Johnson exemplifies how one can show excellence in research and community outreach.