Casonya M. Johnson, Ph.D.


Academic Unit Head
Year Started at JMU: 2019
Contact Info

Research Description

Hairy/Enhancer of Split (HES) proteins are highly conserved transcription repressors, with critical roles in cell specification and proliferation. Mutations in genes encoding HES proteins are linked to breast, prostate, and colon cancers. HES proteins mediate transcription through interactions with other transcription factors or with co-activators, co-repressors, chromatin modifiers, and the transcriptional machinery. Our research objective is to understand the molecular mechanisms by which HES proteins mediate transcriptional repression during embryogenesis and to use that information to test predictions of HES mediated repression genome-wide and across developmental stages in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

  • PhD in Molecular Genetics, 1996, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  • BS in Biology, 1989, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
Select Publications
  • Chou HT., *Gomez Vazquez R., *Wang K., Campbell R., Walthall WW., and CM. Johnson. 2015. HES-mediated repression of Pten in C. elegans. G3 (Bethesda) 5(12):2619-2628. PMID: 26438299.
  • Felton CM., and CM. Johnson. 2014. Dopamine signaling in C. elegans is mediated in part by the HLH-17 dependent regulation of extracellular dopamine levels. G3 (Bethesda) 4(6):1081-9. PMID: 24709946.
  • Quach TK., Chou HT., *Wang K., Milledge GZ., and CM. Johnson. 2013. Genome-wide microarray analysis reveals roles for the REF-1 family member HLH-29 in ferritin synthesis and peroxide stress response. Plos One, 8(3):e59719. PMID 23533643
    *indicates undergraduate student researcher

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