Magen Marie Johnson

November 04, 2011

Magen Marie Johnson, a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Pharmacology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, was awarded a competitive Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for Individual Predoctoral Fellows (F31) from the National Institutes of Health to support her doctoral dissertation project, “A profile of addiction: the midbrain transcriptome in cocaine abuse.”

Drug addiction is a chronic and relapsing disorder associated with significant costs to both affected individuals and society at large. This two-year fellowship will support Johnson’s research investigating the molecular basis of human drug addiction, with the ultimate goal of identifying novel targets for the treatment of addiction.

“Magen clearly has the aptitude and motivation needed to become a successful biomedical scientist” said Michael Bannon, Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology, who serves as her dissertation mentor. “She learned a tremendous amount during the preparation of her fellowship application, and the receipt of this award will certainly advance her career development.”

Johnson obtained her bachelor’s degree in biopsychology from the University of Michigan before coming to Wayne State University to earn her doctorate.

In addition to her current NIH award, she previously received a WSU Rumble Fellowship. She serves as the elected student representative in the Department of Pharmacology.

The award is named for the first woman to direct an NIH component (the National Institute of General Medical Sciences) and served as deputy director and acting director of the NIH. She advocated for research training, especially interdisciplinary predoctoral programs and programs to increase the ranks of minority researchers and physician-researchers.

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