Noah Johnson, PhD - Senior Research Instructor


Headshot of Noah Johnson

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PhD, University of Pittsburgh

Post-doc, University of California, San Francisco


Dr. Noah Johnson, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Instructor in the Department of Neurology, the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, and the University of Colorado (CU) Alzheimer’s and Cognition Center at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. Dr. Johnson received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in Neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco where he studied misfolding of the tau protein causing neurodegenerative disease. His research at the University of Colorado focuses on the role of apolipoprotein E as a catalyst of amyloid in the brain causing dementia, and the connection between Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome. He employs cell, animal, and human induced pluripotent stem cell-based brain organoid models to study the molecular pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Johnson has also identified novel small-molecule drugs for Alzheimer’s by high-throughput screening and he is currently evaluating their potential to treat this devastating illness for which there is currently no cure.

Recent Publications

Johnson NR, Wang ACJ, Coughlan C, Sillau S, Lucero E, Viltz L, Markham N, Allen C, Dhanasekaran AR, Chial HJ, Potter H. (2022) Imipramine and olanzapine block apoE4-catalyzed polymerization of Aβ and show evidence of improving Alzheimer’s disease cognition. Alz Res Ther. 14(1):88. doi: 10.1186/s13195-022-01020-9.

Johnson NR, Yuan P, Castillo E, Lopez TP, Yue W, Bond A, Rivera BM, Sullivan MC, Hirouchi M, Giles K, Aoyagi A, Condello C. (2022) CSF1R inhibitor levels determine sex-specific phenotype of resilient microglia and neurofunctional rescue leading to extended survival in tauopathy mice. bioRxiv. doi: 10.1101/2021.03.20.436288.

Johnson NR. (2022) Tau acetylation reduces its autophagic degradation and is a targetable pathway for human tauopathies. BioEssays. 44(6):2200062. PMID: 35445427.

Wong DR, Conrad J, Johnson NR, Ayers J, Laeremans A, Lee JC, Lee J, Prusiner SB, Bandyopadhyay S, Butte AJ, Paras NA, Keiser MJ. (2022) Trans-channel fluorescence learning improves high-content screening for Alzheimer’s disease therapeutics. Nat Mach Intell. doi: 10.1038/s42256-022-00490-8.

Ahmed MM, Johnson NR, Boyd T, Coughlan C, Chial HJ, and Potter H. (2021) The Role of Innate Immune System Activation and Neuroinflammation in Down Syndrome: Therapeutic Targets or Partners? Front Aging Neurosci. 13:718426. PMID: 34603007, PMCID: PMC8481947.

Johnson NR, Condello C, Guan S, Oehler A, Becker J, Gavidia M, Carlson GA, Giles K, Prusiner SB. (2017) Evidence for sortilin modulating regional accumulation of human tau prions in transgenic mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 114(51):E11029–E11036. PMID: 29203673, PMCID: PMC5754811.

Stöhr J, Wu H, Nick M, Wu Y, Bhate M, Condello C, Johnson NR, Rodgers J, Lemmin T, Acharya S, Becker J, Robinson K, Kelly MJS, Gai F, Stubbs G, Prusiner SB, DeGrado WF. (2017) A 31-residue peptide induces aggregation of tau's microtubule-binding region in cells. Nat Chem. 9(9):874-881. PMID: 28837163, PMCID: PMC5759337.