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Marian Johnson-Thompson, PhD

Marian Johnson-Thompson, PhD

Dr. Marian Johnson-Thompson, PhD is Professor Emerita of Biology, University of the District of Columbia (UDC) and Adjunct Professor, Maternal and Child Health, School of Global Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill. Dr. Johnson-Thompson has over 25 years of experience in clinical trials research activities. Beginning in 1994, she served on the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institutes of Health and was appointed chair in 2000.  During her tenure as IRB Chair, she oversaw one of the NIEHS’ largest clinical trials, The Sister Study (an investigation of environmental factors on the development of breast cancer). In addition, Dr. Johnson-Thompson has over 48 years of combined academic and federal service which allowed her the unique opportunity to work directly in training and mentoring underrepresented UDC minority biomedical students and subsequently to develop NIH minority programs to support training.

As a health disparities professional, Dr. Johnson-Thompson continuously advocates for the inclusion of African Americans in clinical trials leading educational workshops and serving as a panelist and keynote speaker at professional meetings and academic organizations in local, national and international settings. Additionally, she serves as a patient advocate at UNC’s Lineberger Cancer Center where she’s engaged in streamlining and clarifying consent forms to ensure their comprehension by clinical trial participants and in developing community outreach.

Dr. Johnson-Thompson is active with Susan G. Komen as a Komen Scholar since 2018, a Komen Advocate in Science (AIS) for over 5 years and serves on the AIS Steering Committee. She was appointed Vice-Chair of the NC Department of Environmental Quality Secretary’s Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board in 2018. As a member of The Howard University (HU) Board of Trustees since 2011, she co-chairs the Academic Excellence Committee and serves on the Health Sciences Committee. Dr. Johnson-Thompson received the BS and MS degrees in microbiology from The HU and the PhD in molecular virology from Georgetown University Medical School.

Watch Marian’s testimonial video: