Victoria E. Johnson, MBChB, Ph.D.

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Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
Department: Neurosurgery
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
173 Stemmler Hall,
3450 Hamilton Walk,
Philadelphia, PA 19104
BSc (Clinical Neuroscience)
The University of Glasgow, 2003.
MBChB (Medicine)
The University of Glasgow, 2005.
Ph.D. (Neuropathology)
The University of Glasgow, 2012.
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Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Johnson received both her medical degree and PhD from the University of Glasgow, UK. She then pursued a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Douglas H. Smith, M.D. at the Dept. Neurosurgery, University of Pennsylvania and the Penn Center for Brain Injury and Repair.
Her research focuses on the chronic neuropathological sequelae of traumatic brain injury (TBI), including the links between TBI and neurodegenerative disease. Specifically, Dr Johnson has extensive experience in examining post—mortem brain tissue acutely and chronically following TBI in humans. In recent publications, Dr. Johnson and colleagues demonstrated that even a single TBI is associated with an increased incidence of Alzheimer-associated pathologies many years after injury. Moreover, it was identified that a single severe TBI can also induce chronic neuroinflammation, axonal pathology and blood brain barrier (BBB) permeability that can persist for months and even years in some individuals after injury. More recent work endeavors to better understand the specific mechanisms of BBB dysfunction both acutely and chronically post-TBI.
Understanding the temporal changes following TBI by examining both clinical material and utilizing novel model systems, will be critical for the development of treatments for TBI patients.

Selected Publications

Song H, Tomasevich A, Acheampong KK, Schaff DL, Shaffer SM, Dolle JP, Johnson VE, Mikytuck B, Lee EB, Nolan A, Keene CD, Weiss SR, Stewart W, Smith DH.: Detection of blood-brain barrier disruption in brains of patients with COVID-19, but no evidence of brain penetration by SARS-CoV-2. Acta Neuropathol 146(5): 771-775, Nov 2023.

Ulyanova AV, Adam CD, Cottone C, Maheshwari N, Grovola MR, Fruchet OE, Alamar J, Koch PF, Johnson VE, Cullen DK, Wolf JA.: Hippocampal interneuronal dysfunction and hyperexcitability in a porcine model of concussion. Commun Biol 6: 1136, Nov 2023.

Sloka S. Iyengar, Laura S. Lubbers,Lauren Harte‐Hargrove,and CURE Epilepsy Post‐Traumatic Initiative Advisors, and Investigators: A team science approach for the preclinical and clinical characterization and biomarker development for post‐traumatic epilepsy. Epilepsia Open 8(3): 820–833, Sep 2023.

Dams-O'Connor K, Awwad HO, Hoffman S, Pugh MJ, Johnson VE, Keene CD, McGavern L, Mukherjee P, Opanashuk L, Umoh N, Sopko G, Zetterberg H: Alzheimer's Disease-Related Dementias Summit 2022: National Research Priorities for the Investigation of Post-Traumatic Brain Injury Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias. J Neurotrauma 40(15-16): 1512-1523, Aug 2023.

Culkin MC, Bele P, Georges AP, Lopez AJ, Niziolek G, Jacovides CL, Song H, Johnson VE, Kaplan LJ, Smith DH, Pascual JL: Early posttraumatic brain injury tranexamic acid prevents blood-brain barrier hyperpermeability and improves surrogates of neuroclinical recovery. J Trauma Acute Care Surg 95(1): 47-54, Jul 2023.

Song H, McEwan PP, Ameen-Ali KE, Tomasevich A, Kennedy-Dietrich C, Palma A, Arroyo EJ, Dolle JP, Johnson VE, Stewart W, Smith DH: Concussion leads to widespread axonal sodium channel loss and disruption of the node of Ranvier. Acta Neuropathol 144(5): 967-985, Nov 2022.

Mayer AR, Ling JM, Patton DA, Stephenson DD, Dodd AB, Dodd RJ, Rannou-Latella JG, Smith DH, Johnson VE, Cullen DK, Meier TB, Kinsler RE: Non-Linear Device Head Coupling and Temporal Delays in Large Animal Acceleration Models of Traumatic Brain Injury. Ann Biomed Eng 50(6): 728-739, Jun 2022.

Kant A, Johnson VE, Arena JD, Dollé JP, Smith DH, Shenoy VB: Modeling links softening of myelin and spectrin scaffolds of axons after a concussion to increased vulnerability to repeated injuries. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 118(28): e2024961118, Jul 2021.

ElSaadani M, Ahmed SM, Jacovides C, Lopez A, Johnson VE, Kaplan LJ, Smith DH, Pascual JL: Post-traumatic brain injury antithrombin III recovers Morris water maze cognitive performance, improving cued and spatial learning. J Trauma Acute Care Surg 91(1): 108-113, Jul 2021.

Mayer AR, Ling JM, Dodd AB, Rannou-Latella JG, Stephenson DD, Dodd RJ, Mehos CJ, Patton DA, Cullen DK, Johnson VE, Pabbathi Reddy S, Robertson-Benta CR, Gigliotti AP, Meier TB, Vermillion MS, Smith DH, Kinsler R.: Reproducibility and Characterization of Head Kinematics During a Large Animal Acceleration Model of Traumatic Brain Injury. Front Neurol 12: 658461, Jun 2021.

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Last updated: 07/08/2024
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