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Bankole A. Johnson

Bankole A. Johnson D.Sc., M.D., M.B.,Ch.B., M.Phil., FRCPsych, DFAPA, FACFEI

Academic Title: Professor
Primary Appointment: Psychiatry
Secondary Appointments: Neurology
Administrative Title: Chair, Department Of Psychiatry
Additional Title(s): Dr. Irving J. Taylor Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry | Professor of Pharmacology and Professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology | Director of the Brain Science Research Consortium
Location: PACA-PRATT, - 110 S. Paca Street, 4N140
Phone: 410-328-6735
Fax: 410-328-3693

Personal History:

Bankole A. Johnson, DSc, MD, MBChB, MPhil, FRCPsych, DFAPA, FACFEI, serves as Dr. Irving J. Taylor Professor and Chair for the Department of Psychiatry, Professor of Pharmacology and Professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology, and Director of the Brain Science Research Consortium at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Before joining the University of Maryland, he served for nine years as Alumni Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia. He also served as a professor in the Department of Neuroscience and the Department of Medicine at the same university.

Professor Johnson is a licensed physician and board-certified psychiatrist throughout Europe and in the United States. In 1982, he graduated from the University of Glasgow in Scotland with an MBChB, which is the qualifying degree for a physician in the United Kingdom. He trained in psychiatry at the Royal London and Maudsley as well as Bethlem Royal Hospitals. In 1991, Professor Johnson graduated from the University of London with a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in neuropsychiatry. He then went on to conduct doctoral research at Oxford University and obtained an MD in biomedical sciences from the University of Glasgow in 1993. In 2004, Professor Johnson earned a Doctor of Science (DSc, which is the highest doctoral degree that can be granted in science by a British university) in medicine from the University of Glasgow, specializing in neuroscience and neuropharmacology.  

A recipient of numerous awards and honors in his field, in 2001, Professor Johnson received the Dan Anderson Research Award for his “distinguished contribution as a researcher who has advanced the scientific knowledge of addiction recovery.” He received the Distinguished Senior Scholar of Distinction Award in 2002 from the National Medical Association. Professor Johnson also was an inductee of the Texas Hall of Fame in 2003 for contributions to science, mathematics, and technology. In 2006, he received the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA’s) Distinguished Psychiatrist Lecturer Award. In 2007, he was named as a Fellow in the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and in 2008 he was elected to the status of Distinguished Fellow of the APA. In 2009, he received the APA’s Solomon Carter Fuller Award, honoring an individual who has pioneered in an area that has benefited significantly the quality of life for black people. In 2010, he was named as a Fellow in the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. In 2013, he received the Jack Mendelson Award from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Mendelson Award is bestowed annually to an outstanding alcohol investigator whose clinical research has made a substantial contribution to our understanding of alcoholism susceptibility, alcohol’s effects on the brain and other organs, and prevention and treatment of alcohol use disorders. 

Professor Johnson recently served for two years as field editor-in-chief of Frontiers in Psychiatry and currently serves on the editorial boards of The American Journal of Psychiatry and Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, among others. In addition to reviewing for more than 30 journals in pharmacology, neuroscience, and the addictions, he has been published in more than 200 publications. He also has edited three books: Drug Addiction and Its Treatment: Nexus of Neuroscience and Behavior, Handbook of Clinical Alcoholism Treatment, and Addiction Medicine: Science and Practice.

Research Interests:

Professor Johnson is a principal investigator on NIH-funded research studies using neuroimaging, neuropharmacology, and molecular genetics techniques. He also serves on numerous NIH review and other committees, including special panels. His primary area of research expertise is the psychopharmacology of medications for treating addictions. His clinical expertise is in the fields of addiction, biological, and forensic psychiatry. Professor Johnson’s current research incorporates neuroimaging evaluations into his drug interaction studies to identify the site-specific effects of abused drugs and to evaluate the effectiveness of potential medications for the treatment of addiction.


Selected publications from more than 200

Johnson BA, Ait-Daoud N, Bowden CL, et al. Oral topiramate for treatment of alcohol dependence: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2003;361(9370):1677-1685.

Johnson BA. Recent advances in the development of treatments for alcohol and cocaine dependence: focus on topiramate and other modulators of GABA or glutamate function. CNS Drugs. 2005;19(10):873-896.

Johnson BA, Ait-Daoud N, Akhtar FZ, et al. Use of oral topiramate to promote smoking abstinence among alcohol-dependent smokers: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med. 2005;165(14):1600-1605.

Johnson BA, Roache JD, Ait-Daoud N, et al. A preliminary randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the safety and efficacy of ondansetron in the treatment of cocaine dependence. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2006;84(3):256-263.

Johnson BA, Roache JD, Ait-Daoud N, et al. Effects of acute topiramate dosing on methamphetamine-induced subjective mood. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2007;10(1):85-98.

Johnson BA, Rosenthal N, Capece JA, et al. Topiramate for treating alcohol dependence: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2007;298(14):1641-1651.

Johnson BA, Ait-Daoud N, Elkashef AM, et al. A preliminary randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the safety and efficacy of ondansetron in the treatment of methamphetamine dependence. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2008;11(1):1-14.

Breslin FJ, Johnson BA, Lynch WJ. Effect of topiramate treatment on ethanol consumption in rats. Psychopharmacology. 2010;207(4):529-534.

Johnson BA, Ait-Daoud N. Topiramate in the new generation of drugs: efficacy in the treatment of alcoholic patients. Curr Pharm Des. 2010;16(19):2103-2112.

Johnson BA, Ait-Daoud N, Seneviratne C, et al. Pharmacogenetic approach at the serotonin transporter gene as a method of reducing the severity of alcohol drinking [published correction appears in Am J Psychiatry. 2011;168(7):756]. Am J Psychiatry. 2011;168(3):265-275.

Lynch WJ, Bond C, Breslin FJ, Johnson BA. Severity of drinking as a predictor of efficacy of the combination of ondansetron and topiramate in rat models of ethanol consumption and relapse. Psychopharmacology. 2011;217(1):3-12.

Elkashef A, Kahn R, Yu E, Iturriaga E, Li S-H, Anderson A, Chiang N, Ait-Daoud N, Weiss D, McSherry F, Serpi T, Rawson R, Hrymoc M, Weis D, McCann M, Pham T, Stock C, Dickinson R, Campbell J, Gorodetzky C, Haning W, Carlton B, Mawhinney J, Li MD, Johnson BA. Topiramate for the treatment of methamphetamine addiction: a multi-center placebo-controlled trial [published correction appears in Addiction. 2012;107(9):1718]. Addiction. 2012;107(7):1297-1306.

Johnson BA, Roache JD, Ait-Daoud N, et al. Topiramate’s effects on cocaine-induced subjective mood, craving and preference for money over drug taking. Addict Biol. 2013;18(3):405-416.

Ma JZ, Johnson BA, Yu E, et al. Fine-grain analysis of the treatment effect of topiramate on methamphetamine addiction with latent variable analysis. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013;130(1-3):45-51.

Johnson BA, Ait-Daoud N, Wang X-Q, et al. Topiramate for the treatment of cocaine addiction: a randomised clinical trial.  JAMA Psychiatry. 2013;70(12):1338-1346.