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Find Faculty / Kennita Johnson

Contact Information:

Kennita Johnson

10202A Mary Ellen Jones; CB 7575
116 Manning Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Research Areas:
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida
  • M.S. Medical Physics, University of Florida
  • B.S. Physics, University of Maryland Baltimore County


Kennita Johnson, Ph.D., received her bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where she was a Meyerhoff Scholar. She performed her graduate work at the University of Florida. There, she earned a Master’s degree in medical physics and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, NC, she came to UNC to start her research career path in the UNC-NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME). Dr. Johnson is currently expanding her research on biomedical imaging of chronic kidney disease, which disproportionately affects Black and Brown people. In 2020, Dr. Johnson became the first Director of Community and Engagement in the Joint Department. This unique but complex department combines the College of Engineering at NCSU with the UNC School of Medicine and the UNC College of Arts and Sciences. As the director, she chairs the department’s active engagement committee and has developed internal initiatives to bring undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, faculty and staff together. Her favorite part of research, teaching and community work is interacting with students through mentoring student research projects, teaching students complex concepts and talking to potential students about joining her department. Her research focuses on using biomedical imaging to address health disparities. With her team, they are developing methods for the early prediction of kidney disease and liver disease.

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