• Rodney W. Johnson, PhD
  • Professor
Home Department:
  • Animal Sciences
Graduate Programs:
  • Nutritional Sciences
  • Neuroscience
  • BS, Truman State, 1986
  • MS, University of Illinois, 1989
  • PhD, University of Illinois, 1992
  • Postdoctoral Research, Iowa State University, 1992-1993
  • 4 Animal Sciences Lab, 1207 W. Gregory Dr., Urbana, IL 61801
  • 217-333-2118
I-TOPP Related Research Interest:
  • Effects of early nutrition and inflammation on brain and cognitive development
Recent Publications:
  • Matt SM, Zimmerman JD, Lawson MA, Bustamante AC, Uddin M, Johnson RW. (2018) Inhibition of DNA Methylation With Zebularine Alters Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Sickness Behavior and Neuroinflammation in Mice. Front Neurosci. 12:636.
  • Sowder ME, Johnson RW. (2018) Enrichment and detection of bone disseminated tumor cells in models of low tumor burden. Sci Rep. 8(1):14299.
  • Matt SM, Allen JM, Lawson MA, Mailing LJ, Woods JA, Johnson RW. (2018) Butyrate and Dietary Soluble Fiber Improve Neuroinflammation Associated With Aging in Mice. Front Immunol. 9:1832
  • Johnson RW, Williams SA, Gucciardi DF, Bear N, Gibson N. (2018) Evaluating the effectiveness of home exercise programmes using an online exercise prescription tool in children with cerebral palsy: protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open. 8(1):e018316.
  • Pence BD, Bhattacharya TK, Park P, Rytych JL, Allen JM, Sun Y, McCusker RH, Kelley KW, Johnson RW, Rhodes JS, Woods JA. (2017) Long-term supplementation with EGCG and beta-alanine decreases mortality but does not affect cognitive or muscle function in aged mice. Exp Gerontol. 98:22-29.
  • Johnson RW, Sowder ME, Giaccia AJ. (2017) Hypoxia and Bone Metastatic Disease. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 15(4):231-238
  • Schachtschneider KM, Liu Y, Rund LA, Madsen O, Johnson RW, Groenen MA, Schook LB. (2016) Impact of neonatal iron deficiency on hippocampal DNA methylation and gene transcription in a porcine biomedical model of cognitive development. BMC Genomics.17(1):856.
  • Leyshon BJ, Radlowski EC, Mudd AT, Steelman AJ, Johnson RW. (2016) Postnatal Iron Deficiency Alters Brain Development in Piglets. J Nutr. 146(7):1420-7.
  • Conrad, M. S., S. Harasim, J. S. Rhodes, W. G. Van Alstine, and R. W. Johnson.  2015.  Early postnatal respiratory viral infection alters hippocampal neurogenesis, cell fate, and neuron morphology in the neonatal piglet.  Brain. Behav. Immun. 44:82-90. 
  • Conrad, M.S. and R. W. Johnson.  2015.  The domestic piglet:  An important model for investigating the neurodevelopmental consequences of early life insults.  Ann. Rev. Anim. Biosci. 3:245-264.
  • Johnson, R. W. 2015.  Feeding the beast:  Can microglia in the senescent brain be regulated by diet?  Brain Behav. Immun. 43:1-8.
  • Bhattacharya, T. K., B. D. Pence, J. M. Ossyra, T. E. Gibbons, S. Perez, R. H. McCusker, K. W. Kelley, R. W. Johnson, J. A. Woods, and J. S. Rhodes. 2015.  Exercise but not (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate or β-Alanine enhances physical fitness, brain plasticity, and behavioral performance in mice.  Physiol. Behav. 145:29-37.
  • Elmore, M. R. P., M. D. Burton, M. S. Conrad, J. L. Rytych, W. Van Alstine, and R. W. Johnson.  2014.  Respiratory infection in neonatal piglets causes marked microglia activation in the hippocampus and deficits in spatial learning. J. Neurosci. 34:2120-2129.
  • Radlowski, E. C., M. S. Conrad, R. N. Dilger, B. S. Sutton, R. Larsen, R. W. Johnson.  2014.  A neonatal piglet model for investigating brain and cognitive development in small for gestational age human infants. PLOS ONE 9(3): e91951. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091951.
  • Gibbons, T. E., B. D. Pence, G. Petr, J. M. Ossyra, H. C. Mach, T. K. Battacharya, S. Perez, S.  A. Martin, R. H. McCusker, K. W. Kelley, J. S. Rhodes, R. W. Johnson, and J. Woods (2014). Voluntary wheel running, but not a diet containing (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate and beta-alanine, improves learning, memory and hippocampal neurogenesis in aged mice.  Behav. Brain Res. 272:131-140.
  • Conrad, M. S., B. P. Sutton, R. N. Dilger, R. W. Johnson.  2014.  An in vivo three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging-based averaged brain collection of the neonatal piglet (Sus scrofa). PLOS ONE 9:e107650. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107650. 
  • Liu, H., Radlowski, E. C., M. S. Conrad, Y. Li, R. N. Dilger, R. W. Johnson.  2014.  Early supplementation of phospholipids and gangliosides affects brain and cognitive development in neonatal piglets. J. Nutr. 144:1903-1909.
  • Townsend, B. E., Y. Chen, E. H. Jeffery, and R. W. Johnson. 2014.  Dietary broccoli mildly improves neuroinflammation in aged mice but does not reduce lipopolysaccharide-induced sickness. Nut. Res. 34:990-999.
  • Burton, M. D., J. L. Rytych, G. G. Freund, and R. W. Johnson.  2013.  Central inhibition of interleukin-6 trans-signaling during peripheral infection reduced neuroinflammation and sickness in aged mice.  Brain Behav. Immun. 30:66-72.
  • Radlowski, E. C. and R. W. Johnson. 2013.  Perinatal iron deficiency and neurocognitive development.  Front. Neurosci. 7:1-11.
  • Rytych, J., M. R. P. Elmore, M. D. Burton, M. S. Conrad, S. M. Donovan, R. N. Dilger, and R. W. Johnson.  2012.  Early life iron deficiency impairs spatial cognition in neonatal piglets.  J. Nutr. 142:2050-2056.
  • Chiu, G., D. Chatterjee, P. Darmody, J. Walsh, D. Meling, R. Johnson, and G. Freund.  2012.  Hypoxia/reoxygenation impairs memory formation via adenosine-dependent activation of caspase-1.  J. Neurosci. 32:13945-13955.
  • Conrad, M. S., R. N. Dilger, and R. W. Johnson.  2012.  Brain growth in the domestic pig (Sus scrofa) from 2 to 24 weeks of age:  A longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging study.  Dev. Neurosci. 34:291-298.
  • Che, T. M., R. W. Johnson, K. W. Kelley, W. G. Van Alstine, K. A. Dawson, C. A. Moran, and J. E. Pettigrew.  2012.  Effects of mannan oligosaccharide on cytokine secretion by porcine alveolar macrophages and serum cytokine concentrations in nursery pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 90:657-668.
  • Conrad, M. S., R. N. Dilger, A. Nickolls, and R. W. Johnson. 2012. Magnetic resonance imaging of the neonatal piglet brain. Pediatric Res. 71:179-184.
    Elmore, M. R., R. N. Dilger, and R. W. Johnson.  2012.  Direction learning in a spatial T-maze task by neonatal piglets.  Anim. Cognition 15:667-676.
  • Jurgens, H. A. and R. W. Johnson.  2012.  Environmental enrichment attenuates hippocampal neuroinflammation and improves cognitive function during influenza infection.  Brain Behav. Immun. 26:1006-1016.