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Dr. Mark S. Johnson Named New Dean of College of Medicine

WASHINGTON (June 17, 2011) -- Dr. Mark S. Johnson has been appointed as dean of the Howard University College of Medicine, Dr. Eve Higginbotham, senior vice president and executive dean for Health Sciences, announced Friday. Dr. Johnson will assume the position effective August 1 as the 17th dean since the founding of the College of Medicine in 1868, Higginbotham said.

“Dr. Johnson’s appointment follows an extensive national search,” Higginbotham said. “I thank the chair of the search committee, Dr. Leo Rouse, dean of the College of Dentistry, and the committee.”

Dr. Johnson succeeds Dr. Robert E. Taylor, who announced his retirement as dean last summer. He has served as dean since 2005. During his tenure, Dr. Taylor, who also serves as professor of Pharmacology, Medicine and Psychiatry, led a number of initiatives that moved the College of Medicine forward. Following a well-deserved sabbatical, Dr. Taylor will continue his over 30 years of service to the College of Medicine faculty as a clinician and a scientist.

Dr. Johnson is the founding chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – New Jersey Medical School. As chair, he established a nationally recognized department, which he has led for 20 years.

He previously served as the residency program director and acting department chair at Meharry Medical College. At Meharry, Dr. Johnson facilitated the successful reaccreditation of the residency program in the Department of Family Medicine within six months, recruited new residents, recruited new faculty, opened a new family practice center, opened a new inpatient unit, attracted funding for the fellowship program and improved the department’s financial condition.

As the assistant dean for Student Affairs and Special Programs at the University of South Alabama, Dr. Johnson was responsible for minority recruitment and helped establish a program that brought minority students to the campus to participate in summer programs that could lead to a guaranteed admission to medical school.

Dr. Johnson was born in Newark, N.J., and graduated from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies/Black Literature. He earned his medical degree from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and completed his residency at University of South Alabama Medical Center. Following residency, Dr. Johnson was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned his Master of Public Health.

Dr. Johnson also has provided distinguished leadership on the national stage. He served as president of the Association of Departments of Family Medicine and was a board member for 11 years. He was a member of the United States Preventive Services Task Force and was a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.

He also led a task force to document and support the participation of family medicine in Clinical and Translational Science Awards. Dr. Johnson is a past member of the editorial board of the American Family Physician and is a current editorial board member for the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. He is also an elected representative of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine to the Council of Academic Societies of Association of American Medical Colleges.

Dr. Johnson is a noted clinical researcher and successful investigator. As principal investigator, he has received competitive funding from NIH, other federal sources and private foundations. As co-investigator he has been a key participant in other grant funding.

He is a member of the New Jersey Medical School’s Steering Committee of the Center for Clinical and Translational Research. Dr. Johnson is a three-time winner of the first prize in the Mead Johnson Competitive Award for Academic Physicians awarded by the Family Practice Section of the National Medical Association. His peer-reviewed publications include seminal articles on obesity, family violence and health disparities.

Dr. Johnson is a caring physician dedicated to serving the underserved and committed to diversity in medical education. His department sponsors the Student Family Health Care Center, which provides free care to local patients who do not have insurance. It is the longest continuously running student provided free clinic in the country. The SMART (Science, Medicine And Related Topics) Pipeline administered by Dr. Johnson is funded by NIH and provides a set of pre-college health related educational enrichment programs for students entering grades 6-12.

He is married to Marlyn Johnson. They have four children and one grandchild.

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