Matthew Johnson

Matthew Johnson

Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences | Johns Hopkins University

Matthew W. Johnson, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is one of the world’s most published scientists on the human effects of psychedelics.

Dr. Johnson earned his Ph.D. in experimental psychology at the University of Vermont in 2004, and has published >125 peer-reviewed articles. Working with psychedelics since 2004, Dr. Johnson published psychedelic safety guidelines in 2008, helping to resurrect psychedelic research. As Principle Investigator he developed and published the first research on psychedelic treatment of tobacco addiction in 2014. Dr. Johnson and colleagues published the largest study of psilocybin in treating cancer distress in 2016. His 2018 psilocybin abuse liability review recommended placement in Schedule-IV upon potential medical approval. He is Principle Investigator on funded studies investigating psilocybin in the treatment of opioid dependence and PTSD, and LSD in the treatment of chronic pain. In psychedelic research, he also published the first blinded research showing effects of salvinorin A, and research examining psychedelic effects on mystical experience, personality change, meditation, and naturalistic addiction recovery.

Dr. Johnson is also known for his behavioral economics research, including decision-making underlying addiction, tobacco regulatory science and drug effects on sexual risk behavior. He has published studies on nearly all psychoactive drug classes. Dr. Johnson was 2019 President of the Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse Division of the American Psychological Association and is the 2020-2021 President of the International Society for Research on Psychedelics. He has received continuous NIH funding as Principal Investigator since 2009. He has reviewed for >75 journals and has served as guest editor on special issues on psychedelics in two peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Johnson has reviewed grants for NIH, NSF, the US Military and multiple governments outside of the USA. He has provided invited presentations in 13 nations. Dr. Johnson has been interviewed widely including by Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes, Fox Business News, CNN, NPR, BBC, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and Michael Pollan.

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