The Jenkins department is delighted to announce that Maggie Johnson has been promoted to Associate Professor. Maggie joined the department in 2013, following a postdoc in Gerhard Hummer’s lab at the NIH, and graduate training with Theresa Head Gordon at UC Berkeley. Maggie is a dyed-in-the-wool computational biophysicist, who has used computation as a tool to understand problems ranging from fundamental forces in solutions to assembly of large macromolecular complexes on membranes to specificity and regulation in cellular networks. Rather than relying on databases and informatics to inform her calculations, Maggie approaches problems from a physical chemical perspective, combining rigor and mechanism with high performance computing. As an assistant professor she made important contributions to membrane biophysics, discovering rules and novel mechanisms by which the 2D environment of membranes affects complex processes like clathrin-mediated endocytosis and viral budding and fusion. Her lab has developed an important computational tool, named NERDDS, that simulates assembly in a chemically rigorous and structurally detailed approach on the cellular level.
Maggie has received several honors and awards at Hopkins, including an NSF CAREER award and an NIH MIRA award, and was selected as a “Future of Biophysics” speaker at the Biophysical Society Annual meeting in 2020. While at Hopkins she has developed a new undergraduate course, “Modelling the Living Cell”, which has become a favorite among Biophysics undergrads. We feel very fortunate to have Maggie as our colleague, and are looking forward to more great science, training, and scholarship from her. Congratulations Maggie!