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Chemist Michael K. Johnson named Regents Professor

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 10:27am

The 2016 recipient of the Regents Professorship is chemist Michael K. Johnson, an internationally renowned pioneer in the development of methods for investigating the biological properties of metals that are essential to life processes in plants and animals. 

Regents Professorships are bestowed by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia on faculty members whose scholarship or creative activity is recognized nationally and internationally as innovative and pace setting.

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Johnson, the co-director of the Center for Metalloenzyme Studies in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, is a pioneer in the development of methods for investigating the biological properties of metals that are essential to life processes in plants and animals. Many of his discoveries have "set up their own subfields of research worldwide," said Brian Hoffman, the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University, in his nomination letter.

"Michael Johnson is a superb bioinorganic spectroscopist who has made numerous seminal contributions to understanding the properties, function and assembly of transition metal centers in proteins and enzymes," Hoffman wrote. "He is highly regarded nationally and internationally and is a major reason why UGA is internationally recognized as a center of excellence for inorganic biochemistry research."

Johnson's work has garnered $12.3 million in external funding, including a $3.3 million National Institutes of Health MERIT award, which provides long-term grant support to investigators "whose research competence and productivity are distinctly superior." He has published more than 235 peer-reviewed journal articles with an average of 48 citations per article. He has presented his work at more than 100 regional, national or international conferences. In addition, he has chaired numerous national and international meetings and created a series of Summer Inorganic Biochemistry Summer Workshops that trained graduate and postdoctoral students from across the U.S. at UGA.

Congratulations to Dr. Johnson, his lab and colleagues on this distinguished recognition. His remarkable career and research excellence are an inspiration to our students and faculty. The department of chemistry continues to be one of the finest academic units on this or any campus.

 

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