David L. Cohen University Professor
Dr. Johnson is a pioneer of medical information technologies to improve patient care and safety. He is a board-certified pediatrician who has aligned the powers of medicine, engineering and technology to improve the health of individuals and communities. In work that bridges biomedical informatics, bioengineering and computer science, he has championed the development and implementation of clinical information systems and artificial intelligence to drive medical research. He has encouraged the effective use of technology at the bedside, and he has empowered patients to use new tools that help them to understand how medications and supplements may affect their health. He is interested in using advanced technologies such as smart devices and in developing computer-based documentation systems for the point of care. He also is an emerging champion of the use of digital media to enhance science communication, with a successful feature-length documentary describing health information exchange, a podcast (Informatics in the Round) and most recently, a children’s book series aimed at STEM education featuring scientists underrepresented in healthcare.
Dr. Johnson holds joint appointments in the DBEI and in the Department of Computer and Information Science of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and a secondary appointment in the Annenberg School for Communication. He serves as Vice President for Applied Informatics in the University of Pennsylvania Health System and as a Professor of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Before arriving at Penn, he served as the Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor and Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he had taught since 2002. As Senior Vice President for Health Information Technology at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, he led the development of clinical systems that enabled doctors to make better treatment and care decisions for individual patients, and introduced new systems to integrate artificial intelligence into patient care workflows.
The author of more than 150 publications, Dr. Johnson has held numerous leadership positions in the American Medical Informatics Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He leads the American Board of Pediatrics Informatics Advisory Committee and is a member of the NIH Council of Councils. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, American College of Medical Informatics and Academic Pediatric Society. He currently chairs the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He has received major awards from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Vanderbilt University, among many others.