Robert Johnson, Ph.D., is the Director of the Influenza and Emerging Infectious Diseases Division of Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority (BARDA), a component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Division is charged with the advanced development and procurement of medical countermeasures (MCMs) to prepare and respond to pandemic influenza and emerging infectious diseases (EIDs).
Before joining BARDA, Dr. Johnson served for fourteen years in positions of increasing responsibility at the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID) within the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health. After leading the MVA smallpox vaccine development program through transition to BARDA for advanced development, he subsequently served as the Director of the Office of Regulatory Affairs. In this role, Dr. Johnson focused on licensure pathways for biodefense and EID vaccines and therapeutics, held leadership roles in DMID’s responses to influenza and other EID outbreaks, and served as scientific lead for clinical trials of Ebola and yellow fever vaccines. In parallel, as the Acting Director for the Office of Clinical Research Resources, Dr. Johnson oversaw clinical trial networks responsible for Phase I-IV testing of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.
Dr. Johnson previously held positions as a Principal Scientist at Dynport Vaccine Company, as well as a Senior Regulatory Manager at Otsuka Pharmaceuticals.
He has served as a technical expert to other organizations working in the biodefense and public health sectors, including the Food and Drug Administration and Department of Defense, as well as the World Health Organization.
Dr. Johnson received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from The University of North Carolina, and a B.S. in Microbiology and a B.S. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, both from the University of Idaho.