University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Alexander (Sandy) D. Johnson, PhD

Alexander (Sandy) D. Johnson, PhD

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

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Affiliate Member


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. Takagi J, Singh-Babak SD, Lohse MB, Dalal CK, Johnson AD. Candida albicans white and opaque cells exhibit distinct spectra of organ colonization in mouse models of infection. PLoS One. 2019; 14(6):e0218037.
    View on PubMed
  2. Sorrells TR, Johnson AN, Howard CJ, Britton CS, Fowler KR, Feigerle JT, Weil PA, Johnson AD. Intrinsic cooperativity potentiates parallel cis-regulatory evolution. Elife. 2018 09 10; 7.
    View on PubMed
  3. Johnson AD. The rewiring of transcription circuits in evolution. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2017 Dec; 47:121-127.
    View on PubMed
  4. Lohse MB, Gulati M, Johnson AD, Nobile CJ. Development and regulation of single- and multi-species Candida albicans biofilms. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2018 Jan; 16(1):19-31.
    View on PubMed
  5. Craik VB, Johnson AD, Lohse MB. Sensitivity of White and Opaque Candida albicans Cells to Antifungal Drugs. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017 08; 61(8).
    View on PubMed
  6. Dalal CK, Johnson AD. How transcription circuits explore alternative architectures while maintaining overall circuit output. Genes Dev. 2017 07 15; 31(14):1397-1405.
    View on PubMed
  7. Lohse MB, Gulati M, Valle Arevalo A, Fishburn A, Johnson AD, Nobile CJ. Assessment and Optimizations of Candida albicans In Vitro Biofilm Assays. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017 05; 61(5).
    View on PubMed
  8. Nocedal I, Mancera E, Johnson AD. Gene regulatory network plasticity predates a switch in function of a conserved transcription regulator. Elife. 2017 03 22; 6.
    View on PubMed
  9. Guajardo I, Ayer A, Johnson AD, Ganz P, Mills C, Donovan C, Scherzer R, Shah SJ, Peralta CA, Dubin RF. Sex differences in vascular dysfunction and cardiovascular outcomes: The cardiac, endothelial function, and arterial stiffness in ESRD (CERES) study. Hemodial Int. 2018 01; 22(1):93-102.
    View on PubMed
  10. Winter MB, Salcedo EC, Lohse MB, Hartooni N, Gulati M, Sanchez H, Takagi J, Hube B, Andes DR, Johnson AD, Craik CS, Nobile CJ. Global Identification of Biofilm-Specific Proteolysis in Candida albicans. MBio. 2016 09 13; 7(5).
    View on PubMed
  11. Dalal CK, Zuleta IA, Mitchell KF, Andes DR, El-Samad H, Johnson AD. Transcriptional rewiring over evolutionary timescales changes quantitative and qualitative properties of gene expression. Elife. 2016 09 10; 5.
    View on PubMed
  12. Lohse MB, Ene IV, Craik VB, Hernday AD, Mancera E, Morschhäuser J, Bennett RJ, Johnson AD. Systematic Genetic Screen for Transcriptional Regulators of the Candida albicans White-Opaque Switch. Genetics. 2016 08; 203(4):1679-92.
    View on PubMed
  13. Hernday AD, Lohse MB, Nobile CJ, Noiman L, Laksana CN, Johnson AD. Ssn6 Defines a New Level of Regulation of White-Opaque Switching in Candida albicans and Is Required For the Stochasticity of the Switch. MBio. 2016 Jan 26; 7(1):e01565-15.
    View on PubMed
  14. Lohse MB, Johnson AD. Identification and Characterization of Wor4, a New Transcriptional Regulator of White-Opaque Switching. G3 (Bethesda). 2016 Jan 15; 6(3):721-9.
    View on PubMed
  15. Nocedal I, Johnson AD. How Transcription Networks Evolve and Produce Biological Novelty. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 2015; 80:265-74.
    View on PubMed
  16. Sorrells TR, Booth LN, Tuch BB, Johnson AD. Intersecting transcription networks constrain gene regulatory evolution. Nature. 2015 Jul 16; 523(7560):361-5.
    View on PubMed
  17. Sorrells TR, Johnson AD. Making sense of transcription networks. Cell. 2015 May 07; 161(4):714-23.
    View on PubMed
  18. Fox EP, Bui CK, Nett JE, Hartooni N, Mui MC, Andes DR, Nobile CJ, Johnson AD. An expanded regulatory network temporally controls Candida albicans biofilm formation. Mol Microbiol. 2015 Jun; 96(6):1226-39.
    View on PubMed
  19. 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.
    View on PubMed
  20. 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.
    View on PubMed

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