Rodney W. Johnson

Head of the Division of Nutritional Sciences

4 Animal Sciences Laboratory
1207 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801

Rodney Johnson is the Director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois. He is a professor of integrative immunology and behavior in the Department of Animal Sciences in the College of ACES and is a member of the Neuroscience Program Faculty.

Johnson received his bachelor’s degree from Truman State University, and both his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

His research focus is on neuroimmunophysiology with emphasis on how inflammation affects brain development, aging, cognition, and stress resilience. He focuses on how diet influences the communication between the immune system and brain. Some of his studies are done using an aging mouse model, but others use a neonatal piglet model to track how experiential influences such as diet or infection affect brain development and function. He is particularly interested in the fingerprint created during development, and how it contributes to complex multi-factorial diseases that emerge later in life.

Johnson has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, and serves as president-elect of the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society. He has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the College of ACES Paul A. Funk Recognition Award, the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society Presidential Award, the Midwest American Society of Animal Science Outstanding Young Animal Scientist Award, and the Animal Growth and Development Award from the American Society of Animal Science.