Alexander (Sandy) D. Johnson, PhD


Professor, Departments of Microbiology/Immunology and Biochemistry/Biophysics; Vice Chair, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, UCSF

Phone: (415) 476-8097, 502-0859 (voice)
Box 2200, UCSF
San Francisco, CA 94143-2200

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Additional Websites


Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN, B.A., 1974, Biochemistry
Harvard University, Cambridge MA, M.A., Ph.D., 1980, Biochemistry
University of California, San Francisco, Postdoctoral, 1981-85, Biochemistry

Professional Experience

  • 1975-1980
    Graduate student with Mark Ptashne, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Harvard University
  • 1980-1981
    Postdoctoral fellow with Mark Ptashne, Dept. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Harvard University
  • 1981-1985
    Postdoctoral fellow with Ira Herskowitz, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, UCSF
  • 1985-1990
    Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology; Joint Appointment in Biochemistry & Biophysics, UCSF
  • 1991-1995
    Associate Professor, Departments of Microbiology & Immunology; Biochemistry & Biophysics, UCSF
  • 1995-present
    Professor, Departments of Microbiology & Immunology; Biochemistry and Biophysics, UCSF
  • 2003-present
    Vice Chair, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, UCSF
  • 2005-present
    Director of The Tetrad (Biochemistry, Genetics, Cell Biology, and Developmental Biology) Graduate Program, UCSF

Honors & Awards

  • B.A. summa cum laude, 1974
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1974
  • Dreyfus Scholarship, 1974-1977
  • Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1981-1983
  • Pew Scholarship, 1986-1990
  • Elected to American Academy of Microbiology, 1998
  • Burroughs Wellcome Merit Award, 1999 - 2004
  • Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar in Global Infectious Diseases, 2004-2008
  • Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2007
  • The Emil Christian Hansen Award for Microbiology, 2009
  • Elected to the National Academy of Sciences, 2011

Selected Publications

  1. Fox EP, Cowley ES, Nobile CJ, Hartooni N, Newman DK, Johnson AD. Anaerobic Bacteria Grow within Candida albicans Biofilms and Induce Biofilm Formation in Suspension Cultures. Curr Biol. 2014 Oct 20; 24(20):2411-6.
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  2. Pérez JC, Fordyce PM, Lohse MB, Hanson-Smith V, DeRisi JL, Johnson AD. How duplicated transcription regulators can diversify to govern the expression of nonoverlapping sets of genes. Genes Dev. 2014 Jun 15; 28(12):1272-7.
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  3. Pérez JC, Johnson AD. Regulatory Circuits That Enable Proliferation of the Fungus Candida albicans in a Mammalian Host. PLoS Pathog. 2013 Dec; 9(12):e1003780.
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  4. Baker CR, Hanson-Smith V, Johnson AD. Following gene duplication, paralog interference constrains transcriptional circuit evolution. Science. 2013 Oct 4; 342(6154):104-8.
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  5. Hernday AD, Lohse MB, Fordyce PM, Nobile CJ, DeRisi JL, Johnson AD. Structure of the transcriptional network controlling white-opaque switching in Candida albicans. Mol Microbiol. 2013 Oct; 90(1):22-35.
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  6. Lohse MB, Hernday AD, Fordyce PM, Noiman L, Sorrells TR, Hanson-Smith V, Nobile CJ, DeRisi JL, Johnson AD. Identification and characterization of a previously undescribed family of sequence-specific DNA-binding domains. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 May 7; 110(19):7660-5.
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  7. Pérez JC, Kumamoto CA, Johnson AD. Candida albicans commensalism and pathogenicity are intertwined traits directed by a tightly knit transcriptional regulatory circuit. PLoS Biol. 2013; 11(3):e1001510.
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  8. Baker CR, Booth LN, Sorrells TR, Johnson AD. Protein modularity, cooperative binding, and hybrid regulatory states underlie transcriptional network diversification. Cell. 2012 Sep 28; 151(1):80-95.
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  9. Nobile CJ, Fox EP, Nett JE, Sorrells TR, Mitrovich QM, Hernday AD, Tuch BB, Andes DR, Johnson AD. A recently evolved transcriptional network controls biofilm development in Candida albicans. Cell. 2012 Jan 20; 148(1-2):126-38.
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  10. Cain CW, Lohse MB, Homann OR, Sil A, Johnson AD. A conserved transcriptional regulator governs fungal morphology in widely diverged species. Genetics. 2012 Feb; 190(2):511-21.
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  11. Baker CR, Tuch BB, Johnson AD. Extensive DNA-binding specificity divergence of a conserved transcription regulator. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 May 3; 108(18):7493-8.
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  12. Booth LN, Tuch BB, Johnson AD. Intercalation of a new tier of transcription regulation into an ancient circuit. Nature. 2010 Dec 16; 468(7326):959-63.
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  13. Mitrovich QM, Tuch BB, De La Vega FM, Guthrie C, Johnson AD. Evolution of yeast noncoding RNAs reveals an alternative mechanism for widespread intron loss. Science. 2010 Nov 5; 330(6005):838-41.
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  14. Li H, Johnson AD. Evolution of transcription networks--lessons from yeasts. Curr Biol. 2010 Sep 14; 20(17):R746-53.
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  15. Lohse MB, Johnson AD. Temporal anatomy of an epigenetic switch in cell programming: the white-opaque transition of C. albicans. Mol Microbiol. 2010 Oct; 78(2):331-43.
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  16. Tuch BB, Mitrovich QM, Homann OR, Hernday AD, Monighetti CK, De La Vega FM, Johnson AD. The transcriptomes of two heritable cell types illuminate the circuit governing their differentiation. PLoS Genet. 2010 Aug; 6(8):e1001070.
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  17. Lohse MB, Zordan RE, Cain CW, Johnson AD. Distinct class of DNA-binding domains is exemplified by a master regulator of phenotypic switching in Candida albicans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Aug 10; 107(32):14105-10.
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  18. Noble SM, French S, Kohn LA, Chen V, Johnson AD. Systematic screens of a Candida albicans homozygous deletion library decouple morphogenetic switching and pathogenicity. Nat Genet. 2010 Jul; 42(7):590-8.
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  19. Homann OR, Johnson AD. MochiView: versatile software for genome browsing and DNA motif analysis. BMC Biol. 2010; 8:49.
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  20. Hernday AD, Noble SM, Mitrovich QM, Johnson AD. Genetics and molecular biology in Candida albicans. Methods Enzymol. 2010; 470:737-58.
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