Dr. Kiran C. Patel

Our Faculty and Staff

Vanessa Johnson, Ph.D.


Associate Professor - Medical Education




Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine

Vanessa Johnson, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Dr. Kiran Patel College of Allopathic Medicine, Medical Education Department. Dr. Johnson earned her Ph.D. in Human Environmental Sciences at Oklahoma State University, emphasizing Human Development and Family Science with a focus on assessment and early diagnosis of FMR1 gene changes. Her dissertation work explored the development of a Biopsychosocial Screening Inventory for Fragile X (BIPSSI-FX). She completed Postdoctoral Clinical Genetics Research Training at the University of Iowa, where she studied incidental findings associated with genetic testing. She collaborated with an Iowa Testing Center psychometrician to further validate the BIPSSI-FX. Dr. Johnson has researched Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) and other autism spectrum disorders(ASDs) for the past 20 years.

FMR1 gene changes provide an excellent paradigm for studying the multi-systemic complexity of neuropsychiatric disorders across the lifespan. Her beginning FXS-associated research was met with a commonly experienced challenge of facilitating equitable representation of diverse racial and ethnic groups in genomic research. This persistent gap consequently fueled a focus of her program of research, empowering parents as "frontline screeners" to collaborate with healthcare professionals and community leaders to facilitate earlier diagnosis and treatment of genetic developmental disabilities. Her program of research emphasizes empowering parents as "frontline screeners" to collaborate with healthcare professionals and community leaders to facilitate earlier screening, diagnosis, and treatment of genetic developmental disabilities. Dr. Johnson is a member of the international and interprofessional National Fragile X Foundation's Scientific and Clinical Advisory Committee. She also chairs the Association of Black Faculty, Inc. Research Committee. Dr. Johnson also regularly serves as chair or member of CDC Scientific Review Panels for Fragile X Syndrome and other ASDs.

In addition, she is the Founder of EAGLES View Inc, a community environment and engagement organization providing services for high school students and adults with intellectual, developmental, behavioral, or cognitive challenges. Lastly, Dr. Johnson's passionate interest in human development and behavior and a genuine belief in the necessity of empowering underserved and vulnerable community members for positive health outcomes motivate her to use an integrative, interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching. She has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels in private and public Universities for decades. Dr. Johnson serves on dissertation and capstone committees. She also teaches research and evidence-based practice courses and grant-writing courses.   Research Focus · FMR1 Gene changes and modifiers · Fragile X Syndrome and other Autism Spectrum Disorders · Epigenomics · Health equity and community empowerment through active engagement · Influenza / COVID-19 Vaccine among racial and ethnic minorities Education · Postdoctoral, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Nova Southeastern University · Postdoctoral Fellow, Clinical Genetics Research, University of Iowa · Ph.D., Oklahoma State University · M.S., University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center · BSN, Oral Roberts University