Rebecca A Johnson
Department of Surgical Sciences
- Current position:
Clinical Assistant Professor, Anesthesia and Pain Management, University of Wisconsin
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, 1997
PhD - Veterinary Science, University of Wisconsin, 2003
MS - Veterinary Science, University of Wisconsin, 1997
DVM - The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH (cum laude), 1993
The main goal of my translational research program as a clinician-scientist focuses on the ability to reverse (or slow development of) breathing deficits in models of neurological diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), spinal cord injury, and multiple sclerosis (MS). Patients with these severe pathologies usually maintain ventilation until they reach a critical point in the disease process where they just seem to "fall off a cliff" and succumb to ventilatory failure. My current research emphasis concerns common mechanisms of respiratory plasticity that patients use to compensate for spinal cord demyelination, respiratory motor neuron death and in spinal contusion injuries which has aspects of both demyelination and motor neuron death. We use a multidisciplinary approach of simultaneous respiratory plethysmography and diaphragm electromyography with neurophysiological recordings of phrenic nerves to investigate such mechanisms. Novel imaging techniques are also used to examine changes within the neuromuscluar junction of respiratory muscles (diaphragm and intercostal muscles). How patients compensate for impaired ventilation associated with spinal cord demyelination and specific respiratory motor neuron death has seldom been investigated. I am currently developing strategies to attack these critical, yet understudied, pathologies.
Dr. Johnson's clinical interests include anesthesia and its effects on respiratory physiology as well as the continuing clinical education of veterinary technicians and practicing veterinarians.
Nichols NL, Duncan ID, Punzo AM, Mitchell GS, Johnson RA (2012). Cervical spinal demyelination with ethidium bromide transiently impairs respiratory (phrenic) and forelimb motor behavior in rats. Neuroscience Jan 15; 229: 77-87. PMID: 23159317. PMCID: 3534904.
Johnson RA, Lam M, Punzo AM, Li H, Lin BR, Ye K, Mitchell GS, Chang Q. 7,8-dihydroxyflavone exhibits therapeutic efficacy in a mouse model of Rett syndrome. J Appl Physiol. March; 112(5): 704-710. PMID: 22194327. PMCID: In Progress.
Johnson RA, Baker-Herman TL, Duncan ID, Mitchell GS (2010). Ventilatory impairment in the dysmyelinated Long Evans shaker (les) rat. Neuroscience Sep 1; 9(3): 1105-1114. PMID: 20542092. PMCID: 2927872.
Drees R, Frydrychowicz AP, Keuler N, Reeder S, Johnson RA (2011). Pulmonary angiography with 64-multidetector-row computed tomography (MDCT) in normal dogs. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 52(4): 362-367. PMID: 21545367. PMCID: 3548443.
Drees R, Frydrychowicz AP, Reeder SB, Pinkerton ME, Johnson RA (2011). 64-multi-detector computed tomographic angiography of the canine coronary arteries. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 52(5): 507-515. PMID: 21521398. PMCID: 3309425.