It is with great sadness that the Department of Genetics informs you of the passing of Stephen L. Johnson, PhD, early Friday morning. As everyone knows Steve was a highly regarded scientist in our Genetics Department at Washington University School of Medicine. Steve was well known for his keen intellect, quick wit, and dedication to science.
Steve joined our Department in 1996, after his training and education at Vanderbilt University, University of Washington and the University of Oregon. He was a valued member of our department and a leader in the zebrafish community who was renowned for his studies of tissue regeneration and growth control. He was an early leader in zebrafish genomics and used the powerful genetics of zebrafish to study how animals regulate the size of their organs. He was particularly interested in melanocytes, and in developing lineage tracking methods to follow the development and fate of these neural crest derivatives.
Steve served as a wonderful and engaging mentor providing sage advice to many junior faculty members as well as postdocs and graduate students. He trained many future outstanding scientists who have gone on to become leaders in their fields. He was honored with multiple WUSM graduate student mentoring awards for his dedication to training scientists. Steve was also a prolific collaborator who was passionate about working with others.