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Daniel S. Johnson

Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy


PHD, 2008, Cornell Univ; MS, 2005, Cornell Univ; BS, 2000, Univ Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Daniel Johnson earned a PhD and MS in physics from Cornell University and a BS in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before joining Hofstra University he was a research associate in the Laboratory of Cellular Biophysics at Rockefeller University.  Prior to this he was a postdoctoral research associate at Rockefeller University as well as postdoctoral research associate for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Cornell University.

His research interests are in the area of experimental biophysics. He is particularly interested in the quantitative characterization of biological molecules and associated processes using single molecule visualization and force techniques. Systems of interests include virus assembly, nuclear pore complex transport, and motor protein function. He is also interested in the development of new imaging techniques, particularly in the areas of fluorescence microscopy and polarized light microscopy, as well as investigating fluorescence molecules under unusual environmental conditions.


“Readily accessible multiplane microscopy: 3D tracking the HIV-1 genome in living cells,” M.S. Itano, M. Bleck, D.S. Johnson, & S.M. Simon.Traffic 17, 179-186 (2016).

“Polarization-controlled TIRFM with focal drift and spatial field intensity correction,” D.S. Johnson, M. R. Toledo-Crow, A.L. Mattheyses, & S.M. Simon. Biophysical Journal 106, 1008-1019 (2014).

“Temporal and spatial organization of ESCRT protein recruitment during HIV-1 budding,” M. Bleck, M.S. Itano, D.S. Johnson, V.K. Thomas, A.J. North, P.D. Bieniasz & S.M. Simon. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A. 33, 12211-12216 (2014).

“Total Internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy illuminator for improved imaging of cell surface events,” D.S. Johnson, J.K. Jaiswal & S. Simon. Current Protocols in Cytometry 61, 12.29.1-12.29.19 (2012).

* Reprinted in Current Protocols Select: Methods and Applications in Microscopy and Imaging (Eds S.C. Watkins & S.M. St. Croix) p. 445-466 (Wiley, 2013).

“ATP-induced helicase slippage reveals highly coordinated subunits,” B. Sun †, D.S. Johnson †, G. Patel, B.Y. Smith, M. Pandey, S.S. Patel & M.D. Wang. Nature 478, 132-135 (2011). 

† These authors contributed equally to this work.

“A257T linker region mutant of T7 helicase-primase protein is defective in DNA loading and rescued by T7 DNA polymerase,” G. Patel, D.S. Johnson, B. Sun, M. Pandey, X. Yu, E.H. Egelman, M.D. Wang & S.S. Patel. Journal of Biological Chemistry 286, 20490-20499 (2011).

“Synergistic action of RNA polymerases in overcoming the nucleosomal barrier,“ J. Jin, L. Bai, D.S. Johnson, R.M. Fulbright, M.L. Kireeva, M. Kashlev & M.D. Wang. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 17, 745-752 (2010).

“Single-molecule studies reveal dynamics of DNA unwinding by the ring-shaped T7 helicase,“ D.S. Johnson, L. Bai, B.Y. Smith, S.S. Patel & M.D. Wang. Cell 129, 1299-1309 (2007).

“Functional hydrogel surfaces: Binding kinesin-based molecular motor proteins to selected patterned sites,” T.Yu, Q. Wang, D.S. Johnson, M.D. Wang & C.K. Ober. Advanced Functional Materials 15, 1303-1309 (2005).

“2-D plasma dust crystal compression in a parabolic well,” G.A. Hebner, M.E. Riley, D.S. Johnson, P. Ho & R.J. Buss. IEEE Transactions on Plasma Sciences 30, 94-95 (2002).

“Direct determination of particle-particle interactions in a 2D plasma dust crystal,” G.A. Hebner, M.E. Riley, D.S. Johnson, P. Ho & R.J. Buss.Physical Review Letters 87, 235001 (2001).

Recent Courses Taught

Course Title Level
PHYS 011A (NS) GENERAL PHYSICS Undergraduate
PHYS 135 OPTICS Undergraduate
PHYS 137 OPTICS LAB Undergraduate
Photo of Daniel Johnson

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