Kristen Johnson

Kristen Johnson

Associate Professor
Phone: (603) 641-4177
Office: Life Sciences, 88 Commercial Street, RM 630, Manchester, NH 03101

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

Dr. Kristen Johnson is passionate about training her students to become problem-solving scientists. Her approach to classroom teaching involves collaborative team-based learning, and her courses integrate critical reading and analysis of primary research articles. With a focus on experiential learning, her laboratory course work closely complements lecture instruction, incorporates the latest technologies and is often inquiry-based: student-designed experiments with unknown outcomes.

Dr. Johnson mentors many undergraduate students conducting research in her cancer biology lab, which focuses on understanding the role of several genes in the progression of pancreatic cancer. Using RNA interference and CRISPR to modulate gene expression, the Johnson lab studies the impacts of altering the expression of these genes on the malignancy of pancreatic cancer cells.

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 413: Principles of Biology I Lab
  • BIOL/BSCI 413/599: Principles of Biology I Lab
  • BIOT 515: MYS Second Yr Seminar
  • BIOT 753/853: Cell Culture
  • BIOT 754/853: Cell Culture Lab
  • BIOT 766/866: Protein& Immuno Techniques Lab
  • BIOT 777/877: Molecular Biology& Biotech Lab
  • BIOT 877: Molecular Biology& Biotech Lab
  • BIOT 889: Biotech Career Planning
  • BIOT 891: Applied Research
  • BIOT 892: Graduate Internship
  • BIOT 893: Directed Graduate Research
  • BIOT/BMS/BSCI 655/504/599: Advanced Phage Biology
  • BIOT/BSCI 655/599: Advanced Phage Biology
  • BIOT/BSCI 850/750: Cancer Biology
  • BMS 504: General Microbiology Lab
  • BSCI 695: Exploring Biology Teaching
  • BSCI 750: Cancer Biology
  • BSCI 792: Research
  • BSCI 793: Internship


  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • A.B., Dartmouth College

Selected Publications

  • Johnson, K. C., Sabel, J. L., Cole, J., Pruett, C. L., Plymale, R., & Reyna, N. S. (2022). From genetics to biotechnology: Synthetic biology as a flexible course-embedded research experience. BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY EDUCATION. doi:10.1002/bmb.21662

  • Bono, P., Cordero, E., Johnson, K., Borowsky, M., Ramesh, V., Jacks, T., & Hynes, R. O. (2005). Layilin, a cell surface hyaluronan receptor, interacts with merlin and radixin.. Exp Cell Res, 308(1), 177-187. doi:10.1016/j.yexcr.2005.04.017

  • Kissil, J. L., Wilker, E. W., Johnson, K. C., Eckman, M. S., Yaffe, M. B., & Jacks, T. (2003). Merlin, the product of the Nf2 tumor suppressor gene, is an inhibitor of the p21-activated kinase, Pak1.. Mol Cell, 12(4), 841-849. doi:10.1016/s1097-2765(03)00382-4

  • Johnson, K. C., Kissil, J. L., Fry, J. L., & Jacks, T. (2002). Cellular transformation by a FERM domain mutant of the Nf2 tumor suppressor gene. ONCOGENE, 21(39), 5990-5997. doi:10.1038/sj.onc.1205693

  • Kissil, J. L., Johnson, K. C., Eckman, M. S., & Jacks, T. (2002). Merlin phosphorylation by p21-activated kinase 2 and effects of phosphorylation on merlin localization.. J Biol Chem, 277(12), 10394-10399. doi:10.1074/jbc.M200083200

  • Becker, K. B., Stephens, K. C., Davey, J. C., Schneider, M. J., & Galton, V. A. (1997). The Type 2 and Type 3 Iodothyronine Deiodinases Play Important Roles in Coordinating Development in Rana catesbeiana Tadpoles*. Endocrinology, 138(7), 2989-2997. doi:10.1210/endo.138.7.5272

  • Most Cited Publications