2015 Beckman Symposium   

Jeffery Johnston, PhD

Presentation Date:

Jeffery Johnston, PhD

Career Advancement within the University

Vanderbilt University

Stevenson Professor of Chemistry
Beckman Scholars Program Director & Mentor, Vanderbilt University

Professor Johnston obtained his B.S. (Honors) in Chemistry (summa cum laude) in 1992 from Xavier University. While at Xavier, he completed his undergraduate thesis research with Professor Robert G. Johnson. He continued his training in organic chemistry at the Ohio State University working with Leo A. Paquette. In 1997, he moved to Harvard to join Professor David A. Evans as an NIH postdoctoral fellow. He began his independent career at Indiana University in 1999 and was ultimately promoted to Professor of Chemistry with tenure. In 2006, he moved with his research group to Vanderbilt University where he is currently a Stevenson Professor of Chemistry and a member of the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology. He is also Director of the VU-Beckman Scholars Program for undergraduate research. His research program has been recognized by several organizations, including the Boehringer-Ingelheim New Investigator Award, the Yamanouchi and Astellas faculty awards, an Amgen Young Investigator Award, and an Eli Lilly Grantee Award. At Indiana University, he received the IU Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, as well as an IU Trustees Teaching Award. In 2011, he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), awarded a Stevenson Endowed Chair, and was a recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Research. He was a 2013 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellow, and received the ACS Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award in 2014. Recent leadership positions in which he has served include the Executive Committees of Vanderbilt University’s Strategic Planning and Faculty Senate, as well as the American Chemical Society’s Division of Organic Chemistry.

Prof. Johnston’s former students have entered diverse fields, including both academic (research and primarily undergraduate institutions) and industrial (from biotech to ‘big pharma’, medicinal to process and agricultural chemistry, and sales and contract research positions) areas. His ability to predict the outcome of a chemical reaction is far better than his ability to predict the ultimate career outcome for a student with a brilliant mind and incredible talent!

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