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John Johnson, Ph.D.

Jihn Johnson

Professor, Department of Radiology and the Neuroscience Program
College of Human Medicine
College of Osteopathic Medicine
Division of Human Anatomy

John “Jack” Johnson passed away on the 9th of September, 2017, yet still continues to challenge minds, inspire hearts, and buoy souls in appreciation of the world in its entirety. 


A.B. Philosophy; University of Notre Dame
M. S., Psychology, Purdue University
Ph.D. Psychology, Purdue University
Postdoctorate: Neuroscience, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Postdoctorate: Neuroscience, Sydney University - Australia


Teaching in: ANTR 501, ANTR 551, NOP 552, ANTR 590, NEU 839, NEU 820

Lifetime of Achievements

For more than 50 years, Dr. Johnson fostered the spirit and tenacity for excellence that marks MSU scientific scholarship. Seemingly a permanent fixture at MSU, he joined the MSU community in 1965 and actively contributed across colleges and departments. First, in the Biophysics, Psychology, and Zoology Departments (Associate Professor 1965- 1969, Professor, 1969-1981), with a stint from 1973-1978 as Chairman of the Biophysics Department. Then, as Professor, in the Anatomy Department and Neuroscience Program (1981-1998), and Radiology Department and Neuroscience Program (1999-present). Dr. Johnson’s academic path began when graduating in 1952 with a degree in Philosophy (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Notre Dame. A PhD in Psychology followed in 1957 from Purdue University.

After serving as an Instructor and Assistant Professor at Marquette University in Milwaukee until 1960, he began comparative electrophysiology research at the University of Wisconsin with Drs. CN Woolsey, WI Welker, and HF Harlow, until 1964.  Then, after spending a year on a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship in Sydney, Australia with Dr. PO Bishop, he joined MSU in 1965.

Jack's lab at MSU was a training ground for many students that went on to distinguished careers of their own in neuroscience. He stimulated individual exploration by encouraging free inquiry and saw the potential in everyone. He gave of himself to us all through his generosity. Jack continued to be a productive research scientist until the end.

Brain Biodiversity Bank

The division's Brain Biodiversity Bank website offers, among other features, online atlases of stained sections of brains of humans and sheep that are used worldwide as class materials in human medicine, veterinary medicine, and biomedical sciences. The human atlas includes corresponding MRI images in three dimensions and is currently rated by Google as the most used Human Brain Atlas on the Internet.

Brain Biodiversity Bank Website


A519, A508 East Fee Hall

Contact Information:

Anatomy Offices
East Fee Hall
965 Wilson Rd., A519
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: 517.353.6380
Fax: 517.432.2443

Willed Body Program:
Jacque Liles
Central Fee Hall
939 Wilson Rd., E206
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: 517.353.5398
Fax: 517.884.9540