Roger Johnson

Director Strategic Initiatives
Biodesign Administration

Location: TEMPE

Contact Information
(480) 965-6782

Research Interests

research development

research advancement

imaging physics

3D microscopic and medical imaging

optical tomography

x-ray tomography

imaging instrumentation

reconstruction algorithms


cell physiology



Roger Johnson is the director of strategic initiatives at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. In this role, he develops and oversees multifaceted clinical, university and industry collaborations for the institute.

Prior to his current role, Roger was a research scientist and laboratory manager for seven years in the Biodesign Instituteâs Center for Biosignatures Discovery Automation. There, he was responsible for overall management of daily research activities in the center, and led cell computed tomography research.  Cell CT is a relatively new method for 3-D structural and functional imaging of biological cells. Johnson has more than 20 yearsâ experience in 3-D micro CT, and is an expert in CT scanner design and construction, image reconstruction algorithms, and 3-D image processing and analysis.  

Before his time at ASU, Roger was a tenured associate professor in biomedical engineering at Marquette University in Milwaukee, with appointments at the Medical College of Wisconsin departments of biophysics and radiology and the Milwaukee VAMC Department of Physiology. While there, he built an x-ray microtomograph to study the lung microvasculature in animal models of pulmonary hypertension.  Prior to Marquette, Roger was assistant professor in bioengineering and radiology at Ohio State University.  

Roger obtained his bachelorâs degree in German and chemistry from the University of Connecticut.  This included a junior year abroad in Salzburg, Austria. In the 1980s, he worked in the orthopedic implant field, both in industry and a hospital-based research setting. It was this pursuit that led him to the practice and study of 3-D medical imaging, first with light and electron microscopy, then using other modalities including CT, MRI and PET.  He returned to school to complete a doctorate in bioengineering at the University of Washington.  

For his dissertation, he designed and built an x-ray microscope and x-ray microtomograph for micron-scale, point-projection imaging of biological specimens, concentrating on the guinea pig cochlea.  Roger is an inventor with seven patents including two on x-ray and two on optical microtomography.