Presidential Scholars Program

Mark Johnson

Associate Professor of Biology


 I’m a molecular geneticist who studies the process of reproduction in flowering plants. My laboratory is in Sidney Frank Hall and the primary model system we use is Arabidopsis thaliana; more recently we’ve begun to use Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) to understand how heat stress affects fertility. I love helping students become scientists and direct the MCB Graduate Program. and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute-funded program. that seeks to provide opportunities for Brown undergraduates to engage in research. I also help to advise Brown’s chapter of SACNAS, a national organization that promotes research careers of people who have traditionally been excluded from US science. I was fortunate to go to a public high school in the Philadelphia suburbs where I did research projects as part of my biology courses, I studied biology at Wake Forest University (I currently collaborate with my molecular biology professor), I worked for a year in the pharmaceutical industry, I did my PhD at the Michigan State University-Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory, I did a postdoctoral fellowship at The University of Chicago (started studying pollen tube growth and guidance), I started my faculty position at Brown in 2004. I’ve been very fortunate to have generous science teachers and mentors along the way.