Thomas Johnson, MD, PhD

Johns Hopkins University

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Johns Hopkins University


I am a physician-scientist with a clinical interest the in medical and surgical treatment of glaucoma in children and adults. My complementary scientific interests including understanding the pathophysiologic mechanisms that lead to retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death in glaucoma and developing novel treatments that can restore vision in glaucoma and other optic neuropathies.  My prior research experiences have broadly investigated the pathophysiology of ocular hypertension, mechanisms of intraocular pressure-lowering therapies, and approaches to RGC neuroprotection in models of glaucoma, including through somatic stem cell transplantation. I currently lead a translational neuroscience laboratory focused on the development of stem cell transplantation-mediated therapies to achieve RGC replacement and optic nerve regeneration. We are particularly interested in developing methods to transplant stem cell derived RGCs into the eye in vivo and in studying the survival and functional integration of cells into recipient neuroretinal circuitry.  Our goal is to improve both survival and functional retinal integration of transplanted RGCs by modulating both intrinsic molecular pathways within RGCs and extrinsic barriers within the retinal microenvironment, in clinically relevant models of optic neuropathy in vivo.