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Josephine Johns

Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology


Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology


UNC Hospitals – Chapel Hill

Education and Training:

B.A., Psychology, East Carolina University
M.A. Psychology, East Carolina University
Ph.D. Biological Psychology, University of Georgia
Postdoctoral training: Department of Pharmacology, East Carolina University Medical School
Research Fellowship, Brain and Development Research Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Summary Statement:

Dr. Johns’ lab is interested in infant/child development and behavior, maternal behavior including maternal infant interactions, and aggressive behavior in both preclinical and clinical models. The lab primarily focuses on translational research on the effects of drugs of abuse on the dynamics of maternal-infant interactions in both human and rodent models. Lab methods incorporate genetics, molecular biology, endocrinology, imaging, and many types of behavior as they study both normal and abnormal aspects of development following drug use or exposure. Subject areas of interest include among others, infant neglect, teratology, Neuroendocrinology, Behavioral Pharmacology, and Developmental Disabilities Research. The role of oxytocin in aggression, maternal response and intergenerational effects of drugs is of particular interest to Dr. Johns’ lab. They collaborate with numerous research scientists and clinicians to develop and incorporate the best expertise available for their studies. The work has been primarily funded through NIDA with contributions from NIMH and other smaller agencies. The lab trains premedical, graduate and undergraduate students from various departments and curricula who go on to be primarily research scientists, academic professors and medical doctors.

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Joey Johns