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. Brenes LR, Lohse MB, Hartooni N, Johnson AD. A Set of Diverse Genes Influence the Frequency of White-Opaque Switching in Candida albicans. G3 (Bethesda). 2020 Jun 02.
    View on PubMed
  2. Lohse MB, Gulati M, Craik CS, Johnson AD, Nobile CJ. Combination of Antifungal Drugs and Protease Inhibitors Prevent Candida albicans Biofilm Formation and Disrupt Mature Biofilms. Front Microbiol. 2020; 11:1027.
    View on PubMed
  3. Nobile CJ, Ennis CL, Hartooni N, Johnson AD, Lohse MB. A Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, a Proton Pump Inhibitor, and Two Calcium Channel Blockers Inhibit Candida albicans Biofilms. Microorganisms. 2020 May 18; 8(5).
    View on PubMed
  4. Mancera E, Frazer C, Porman AM, Ruiz-Castro S, Johnson AD, Bennett RJ. Corrigendum: Genetic Modification of Closely Related Candida Species. Front Microbiol. 2020; 11:713.
    View on PubMed
  5. Britton CS, Sorrells TR, Johnson AD. Protein-coding changes preceded cis-regulatory gains in a newly evolved transcription circuit. Science. 2020 01 03; 367(6473):96-100.
    View on PubMed
  6. Dalal CK, Zuleta IA, Lohse MB, Zordan RE, El-Samad H, Johnson AD. A population shift between two heritable cell types of the pathogen Candida albicans is based both on switching and selective proliferation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Dec 10.
    View on PubMed
  7. 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
  8. Mancera E, Frazer C, Porman AM, Ruiz-Castro S, Johnson AD, Bennett RJ. Genetic Modification of Closely Related Candida Species. Front Microbiol. 2019; 10:357.
    View on PubMed
  9. 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
  10. Johnson AD. The rewiring of transcription circuits in evolution. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2017 Dec; 47:121-127.
    View on PubMed
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. Ene IV, Lohse MB, Vladu AV, Morschhäuser J, Johnson AD, Bennett RJ. Phenotypic Profiling Reveals that Candida albicans Opaque Cells Represent a Metabolically Specialized Cell State Compared to Default White Cells. mBio. 2016 11 22; 7(6).
    View on PubMed
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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

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