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Thomas E. Johnson, Ph.D.

Professor and
Health Physics Section Head

Office: Molecular and Radiological Biosciences (MRB)
Office Phone: 970-491-0563


Dr. Johnson's CVMBS Faculty Profile

Dr. Johnson's Laboratory

Health Physics Program

Introduction to Health Physics, Fifth Edition

Institute of Environmental Radioactivity

A How To Video: Preparing for a job interview with the IAEA


Dr. Johnson’s research lab is focused on movement of radionuclides in the environment and laser safety. He has worked with ionizing and non-ionizing radiation for over 20 years. Dr. Johnson worked as an ELT on the USS Cavalla (SSN-684), in consulting, at coal and at nuclear power plants.


Ph.D.: Health Physics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN: 1997

M.S.: Environmental Health Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL: 1993

M.B.A.: Operations Management and Finance, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL: 1991

B.S.: Industrial Technology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL: 1989


Professional : Certified Health Physicist, ABHP

Professional : National Registry of Radiation Protection Technologists, NRRPT

Professional : Certified Laser Safety Officer, CLSO

International Collaboration

Japan; Fukushima University; Radioactive release effects

Canada; University of Ontario Institute of Technology; Curriculum, MO-99 production

Australia; Australian National Nuclear Research and Development Organization; Radioecology

Selected Publications

Elizabeth Ruedig, PhD; Colleen Duncan; Bobette Dickerson; Michael Williams; Thomas Gelatt; Justin Bell; Thomas Johnson (2016) Fukushima derived radiocesium in subsistence-consumed northern fur seal and wild celery, Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, pp. 1-7 DOI information: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2015.10.024

Ruedig, E. Johnson T.E., (2015) An evaluation of health risk to the public as a consequence of in situ uranium mining in Wyoming, USA Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Volume 150, December 2015, Pages 170–178

Luke D. Hetrick, Susan L. Kraft, Dayton McMillan, Thomas E. Johnson (2015) Occupational Exposure to Veterinary Workers from the Positron Emission Tomography Imaging Agent 64Cu-ATSM.  Health Physics Journal, Vol. 109, No. 5, Suppl. 3, S219-S223, November, 2015.

Schilz, J. R., Reddy, K. J., Nair, S., Johnson, T. E., Tjalkens, R. B., Krueger, K. P. (2015) Removal of Trace Elements by Cupric Oxide Nanoparticles from Uranium In Situ Recovery Bleed Water and Its Effect on Cell Viability. J. Vis. Exp. (100), e52715, doi:10.3791/52715 (2015)

Martinez, N.E., Johnson, T.E., Kuhne, W, Stafford, C. Duff, M.( submitted 2014) “The Feasibility of Reflectance spectroscopy as a technique to assess symptoms of cesium toxicity in Arabadopsis thaliana” International Journal of Remote Sensing (in revision)

Martinez, N.E., Pinder, J.E.,  Johnson, T.E., (2014) Development and comparison of computational models for estimation of absorbed organ radiation dose in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) from uptake of iodine-131 Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 138; 50-59

Martinez, N.E., J.E. Pinder III, T.E. Johnson (2014), “The Influence of Lake Trophic Structure on 131-I Accumulation and Subsequent Cumulative Radiation Dose to Trout Thyroids,” Journal of Environmental Radioactivity. 131; 62-71

Georg Steinhauser, Alexander Brandl, Thomas E. Johnson (2014); Comparison of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accidents: A review of the environmental impacts. Science of the Total Environment. Science of the Total Environment 470–471 (2014) 800–817

Martinez, N.E., S.L. Kraft, and T.E. Johnson (2014), “A Proposed Simple Model for Occupational Radiation Dose to Staff From Veterinary 18F-FDG PET Procedures,” Health Phys. 2014 May;106(5):583-91.

Xianan Liu, John E. Doerges, John Volckens, Thomas E. Johnson (2014) “Aerosol Size Distribution in the Schwartzwalder Uranium Mine” Health Physics Journal, Feb;106,S20-24.

T. Borch, N. Roche, T.E. Johnson, 2012,"Determination of Contaminant Levels and Remediation Efficacy In Groundwater at a Former In-Situ Recovery Uranium Mine", Journal of Environmental Monitoring, May, 2012 DOI: 10.1039/C2EM30077J

Martinez Nicole E, Kraft Susan L, Gibbons Debra S, Arceneaux Billie K, Stewart Jeffrey A, Mama Khursheed R, Johnson Thomas E, 2012 “Occupational Per-Patient Radiation Dose From a Conservative Protocol for Veterinary 18F Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography” Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound, Accepted May, 2012.

D. McMillan, T.E. Johnson, Y. Guo, A. Brandl, 2011 “A Plan for the Handling of Externally Contaminated Livestock” Health Physics, 101 (supplement 3), S164-169, November, 2011.

D. Schaaf, and T. E. Johnson, 2010 “Relationships of skin depths and temperatures when varying pulse repetition frequencies from 2.0 µm laser light incident on pigs skin” Journal of Biomedical Optics, 15(4)

D. Schaaf, T. Eurell, and T. E. Johnson, 2010 “Cultured Human Keratinocytes for Optical Transmission Measurement” Journal of Biophotonics,  3:161-168

MD Rosenbaum, S VandeWoude, J Volckens, TE Johnson, 2009 “Macroenvironmental and Microenvironmental Disparities in Ammonia, Temperature, Humidity and Airborne Particulate Matter in Individually Ventilated Caging Housing Mice” Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, 49: 177-183

MD Rosenbaum, S VandeWoude, TE Johnson, 2009 “The Effect of Cage Change Frequency and Bedding Volume on the Mouse and its Microenvironment” Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, 48:763-773

 N.A. McPherson, T.A. Neal, T.E. Johnson, 2008 “The Potential Hidden Hazards of a Laser Pumped Tunable OPO System” Health Physics Journal, 95: S194-S196 

R.D. Glickman, T.E. Johnson,  G.D. Noojin, D.J. Stolarski, M.L. Denton, N. Kumar, B.A. Rockwell, 2008  “Laser Bioeffects Associated With Ultrafast Lasers: Role Of Multiphoton Absorption” Journal of Laser Applications, 20: 89-97.

N.A. McPherson, T.E. Eurell, T. E. Johnson, 2007 “Comparison of 1540 nm laser induced injuries in ex-vivo and in-vitro rabbit corneal models” Journal of Biomedical Optics.  12:064033

G.L. Langham GL, R.F. Hoyt RF, T.E. Johnson, 2006 “Comparison of Particulate Matter in Laboratory Animal Rooms Housing Mice in Microisolators” Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, 45: 22-26   

C.A. Ege, N.C. Parra, T.E. Johnson, 2006 “Noninfectious Complications of Vascular Access Ports (VAP) use in the Yucatan Mini-Pig (Sus scrofa domestica)” Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, 45:54-61

T.E. Johnson, M.J. Roy, 2006 “Cutaneous sensation threshold for 3.8 um radiation from a short duration pulsed laser on the calves of human subjects: A pilot study” Journal of Laser Applications, 18:334-339

K.R. Clark, T.A. Neal,  T.E. Johnson, 2006 “Creation of an Innovative Laser Incident Reporting Form for Improved Trend Analysis using the Delphi Technique” Military Medicine, 171: 894-899

A.C. Bostick, D.E. Stoffregen, T.E. Johnson, 2006 “Response of Lightly and Highly Pigmented Porcine Skin (Sus scrofa domestica) to Single 3.8 micron Laser Radiation Pulses” Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, 45:33-7 

J.J. Tomon, T.E. Johnson, K.N. Swenson, D.A. Schauer, 2006, “Applicability of ACR breast dosimetry methodology to a digital mammography system” Medical Physics,  33:799-807

J.G. Fyffe, T.A. Neal, W.P. Butler, T.E. Johnson, 2005 “The Ex-Vivo Pig Eye As A Replacement Model For Laser Safety Testing” Comparative Medicine, 55:502-508 

B. Ketzenberger, T. E. Johnson, Y.A. Van Gessel, S. P. Wild, W. P. Roach, 2002 “A Study of Corneal Lesions in the Dutch Belted Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) Induced by 1318 nm Laser Radiation Pulses.” Comparative Medicine, 52: 513-517 

T.F. Clarke, T.E. Johnson, B. Ketzenberger, W.P. Roach, 2002 “Corneal Injury Threshold And Public Health Implications Of The 1540 nm Laser (Infrared Laser Eye Injury)” Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 73:787-790 

P.J. Rico, W.P. Roach, M.A. Mitchell, T.E. Johnson, 2000 “ED50 Determination and Histological Characterization of Porcine (Sus scrofa domestica) Dermal Lesions Produced by 1540 nm Laser Radiation Pulses” Comparative Medicine, 50:633-638 

T.A. Eggleston, W.P. Roach, M. Mitchell, K. Smith, D. Oler, T.E. Johnson, 2000 “Comparison of In Vivo Skin Models for Near Infrared Laser Exposure” Comparative Medicine, 50: 391-397

W.P. Roach, T.E. Johnson, B.A. Rockwell, 1999 “Maximum Permissible Exposure Limits for Ultrashort Laser Pulses” Health Physics, 76: 349-354

T.E. Johnson, 1996 “Operational Decision Levels for Skin Contamination” Radiation Protection Management., 13:58-64​​

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