A. Daniel Johnson

Teaching Professor in Biology/ Core Curriculum Coordinator

B.S., University of North Carolina at Charlotte (1985)
Ph.D., Wake Forest University (1992)
Research Fellowships: Texas Heart Institute (1993-1995); University of Virginia (1995-1998)

214 Winston Hall
(336) 758-5320

Areas of Interest

Post–secondary Teaching Methods, Professional Development for Instructors, Cell Biology of Disease


The learning process is fundamentally different for students at the college level compared to their K–12 experiences. The deepest, most lasting learning occurs when students and faculty work together as colleagues to build content knowledge concurrently with the thinking skills needed to apply that knowledge. Effective teachers know (either implicitly or explicitly) how students learn, and use that knowledge to create a classroom environment in which all students can achieve significant learning gains. My scholarly work centers on developing strategies for incorporating research–validated teaching methods into K-12 and college teaching. My 4 main areas of professional activity are:

  • Developing scalable technology-based tools that engage students, deepen learning, & foster best teaching practices.
  • Using inquiry–based learning to improve students’ experience in laboratory courses.
  • Training future faculty to use professional and metacognitive skills that make them more effective teachers.
  • Testing new methods for curriculum and program assessment.

To find out more or see our projects in action, visit The Adapa Project.

Selected Publications

Bennett, KR, Johnson, AD. 2011. Using multi-node tools for success in non-major science classes. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 34(4). 8 pp. http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/using-multi-node-tools-student-success-non-major-science-classes.

Jones, NL, Peiffer, AM, Lambros, A, Guthold, M, Johnson, AD, Tytell, M, Ronca, A, Eldridge, JC. 2010. Developing a problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum for professionalism and scientific integrity training for biomedical graduate students. Journal of Medical Ethics, 36:614-619.

Johnson, AD, Lambros, AM, Peiffer, AM, Tytell, M., Eldridge, JC, Jones, NL. 2010. Teaching Bioethics and Professional Conduct Through Problem-Based Learning. Proceedings of the 31st Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education, 31:134-161.

Gatewood, EJ, Macosko, J, Johnson, AD, Yokum, S. 2009. Teaching Science Entrepreneurship through Science–oriented Teams and Projects: Three Case Studies. Handbook of University-wide Entrepreneurship Education, West, GP, Gatewood, EJ, and Shaver, KG, eds.. Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 122–134.

Johnson, AD. 2009. Forty Inquiry Exercises For the College Biology Lab. NSTA Press, Arlington, VA. 514 pp.

Bohrer KE, Johnson AD, *Miller K, Ferrier, A. 2008. Teaching the Teacher: Introducing and Training TAs in Inquiry–Based Learning Methods. Proceedings of the 29th Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education, 29: 67–126.

Johnson AD. 2007. Using Chlamydomonas For Signal Transduction Experiments. Proceedings of the 28th Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education, 28: 309–310.

Johnson AD. 2006. Resource Allocation in Plants. Proceedings of the 27th Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education, 27: 15–30.

Johnson AD. 2005. Amanda’s Absence: Should Vioxx Be Kept Off the Market? National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. Http://ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/projects/cases/ubcase.htm

Johnson AD, Kron K. 2005. Morphological and Molecular Methods for Creating Phylogenetic Trees. Proceedings of the 26th Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education, 26: 121–154.

Moretz CM, Awkerman J, Thorington K. Johnson AD. 2005. Building an Ecosystem with a Semester–Long Lab Writing Project. Proceedings of the 26th Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education, 26: 406–409.

Johnson AD. 2004. Molds as Model Organisms for Undergraduate Structured Inquiry Labs. Proceedings of the 25th Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education, 25: 328–333.

Johnson AD. 2003. Do You Have a 10 Liter Bladder? Visually Reinforcing Understanding of Nephron Functions. Journal of College Science Teaching, 33: 52–53.

Kumar MS, Hendrix JA, Johnson AD, Owens GK. 2003. Smooth Muscle Alpha–Actin Gene Requires Two E–Boxes for Proper Expression In Vivo and Is a Target of Class I Basic Helix–Loop–Helix Proteins. Circulation Research, 92: 840–850.

Jung, F, Johnson AD, Kumar, MS, Wei, B, Hautmann, M, Owens, GK, and McNamara, C. 1999. Characterization of E-box-Dependent cis-Element in the Smooth Muscle Alpha Actin Promoter. Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol., 19:2591-2599.

Johnson, AD, and Owens, GK. 1999. Activation of Smooth Muscle Alpha Actin Transcription in Smooth Muscle Cells by Binding of Upstream Stimulatory Factor to an E-Box Element. American Journal of Physiology, 276 (Cell Physiol. 45): C1420-C1431.