Casey Johnson, PhD

Assistant Professor, Medical Imaging, Veterinary Clinical Sciences
A man with short brown hair standing with his arms crossed smiling at the camera


Office Phone
Office Address

C339 Veterinary Medical Center
Saint Paul, MN 55108
United States


PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Mayo Graduate School Mayo Clinic

BA, Physics and Mathematics, Saint Olaf College

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Dr. Casey Johnson is a medical imaging scientist focused on advancing human and animal health through development and application of advanced imaging technologies. His primary expertise is in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). He is working with his colleagues to develop new MRI technologies to improve clinical management of a variety of conditions, for both humans and animals, by advancing imaging diagnostic capabilities, research tools, and evaluation of novel therapies. He is also working to advance research, education, and clinical care in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the greater UMN Health Sciences. He is helping to build medical imaging infrastructure in the college, including the recent installation of a state-of-the-art 3T MRI scanner to advance preclinical and clinical research and clinical care of companion animals. He teaches courses and mentor research projects on medical imaging topics to graduate and veterinary students, postdocs, and residents. As section head of medical imaging, he is working to continue to make our college's medical imaging service one of the top in the nation for advancing veterinary research, teaching, and clinical care. He is driven by his passions for interdisciplinary research, helping trainees advance their careers, and promoting a positive, supportive, and inclusive workplace.

Awards & recognition

  • 2023: Grantee, NIH R01 Research Project Grant
  • 2022: Early Career Award, Journal of Orthopaedic Research
  • 2021: Grantee, NIH R56 High Priority, Short-Term Project Award
  • 2019: University of Minnesota CTSI K-R01 Scholar
  • 2017: Grantee, NIH K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award
  • 2015: ISMRM Junior Fellow
  • 2013: Grantee, NARSAD Young Investigator Award


Research summary/interests

He is broadly interested in the development and application of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologies to advance clinical management of diseases, including those afflicting the musculoskeletal, nervous, and vascular systems. His research laboratory (the “Comparative MRI Research Lab”) is primarily investigating the development and translation of MRI techniques to improve clinical management and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. His lab also supports collaborative research projects across a variety of application areas, including brain disorders and cancer. Details of my research activities and links to UMN MRI research resources can be found on my lab’s website:

Research funding grants

  • 3/1/2023-1/31/2028, NIH/NIAMS R01 AR081877, Early Detection and Monitoring of Osteonecrosis of the Femoral Head, PI
  • 9/22/2021-8/31/2023, NIH/NIAMS R56 AR078315, Early Detection and Monitoring of Osteonecrosis of the Femoral Head, PI
  • 9/1/2017-8/31/2022, NIH/NIAMS K01 AR070894, Ultrahigh-Field MRI of Hip Joint Diseases Leading to Early Osteoarthritis, PI
  • 9/22/2021-8/31/2023, NIH/NIAMS R56 AR078209, The Role of Vascular Failure and Biomechanical Stress in the Pathogenesis, Healing and Prevention of Juvenile Osteochondrosis Dissecans, Co-I (PI: Ferenc Tóth)


Selected publications

  • Armstrong AR, Bhave S, Buko EO, Chase KL, Tóth F, Carlson CS, Ellermann JM, Kim HKW, Johnson CP. Quantitative T2 and T1ρ mapping are sensitive to ischemic injury to the epiphyseal cartilage in an in vivo piglet model of Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2022; 30(9):1244-1253.
  • Johnson CP, Tóth F, Carlson CS, Armstrong AR, Zbýň Š, Wu B, Ellermann JM, Kim HKW. T1ρ and T2 mapping detect acute ischemic injury in a piglet model of Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease. J Orthop Res 2022; 40(2):484-494.
  • Johnson CP, Thedens DR, Kruger SJ, Magnotta VA. Three-Dimensional GRE T1ρ mapping of the brain using tailored variable flip-angle scheduling. Magn Reson Med 2020; 84(3):1235-1249.
  • Johnson CP, Wang L, Tóth F, Aurwajoye O, Kirkham B, Carlson CS, Kim HK, Ellermann JM. Quantitative susceptibility mapping detects neovascularization of the epiphyseal cartilage after ischemic injury in a piglet model of Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease. J Magn Reson Imaging 2019; 50(1):106-113.
  • Johnson CP, Wang L, Tóth F, Aruwajoye O, Carlson CS, Kim HK, Ellermann JM. Quantitative MRI helps to detect hip ischemia: preclinical model of Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease. Radiology 2018; 289(2):386-395.
  • Johnson CP, Christensen GE, Fiedorowicz JG, Shaffer JJ, Mani M, Magnotta VA, Wemmie JA. Alterations of the cerebellum and basal ganglia in bipolar disorder mood states detected by quantitative T1rho mapping. Bipolar Disord 2018; 20(4):381-390.
  • Johnson CP, Van de Moortele PF, Wang L, Ugurbil K, Ellermann JM. Chapter 24: Ultrahigh-field whole-body MRI for cartilage imaging: technical challenges. Biophysics and Biochemistry of Cartilage by NMR and MRI. Eds: Xia Y, Momot K. The Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2016, 671-705.
  • Johnson CP, Folmer RL, Oguz I, Warren L, Christensen GE, Fiedorowicz JG, Magnotta VA, Wemmie JA. Brain abnormalities in bipolar disorder detected by quantitative T1rho mapping. Mol Psychiatry 2015; 20(2):201-206.
  • Johnson CP, Thedens DR, Magnotta VA. Precision-guided sampling schedules for efficient T1rho mapping. J Magn Reson Imaging 2015; 41(1):242-250.
  • Johnson CP, Heo HY, Thedens DR, Wemmie JA, Magnotta VA. Rapid acquisition strategy for functional T1ρ imaging of the brain. Magn Reson Imaging 2014; 32(9):1067-77.
  • Johnson CP, Weavers PT, Borisch EA, Grimm RC, Hulshizer RC, LaPlante CC, Rossman PJ, Glockner JF, Young PM, Riederer SJ. Three-station three-dimensional bolus-chase MR angiography using real-time fluoroscopic tracking. Radiology 2014; 272(1):241-251.
  • Johnson CP, Polley TW, Glockner JF, Young PM, Riederer SJ. Buildup of image quality in view-shared time-resolved 3D CE-MRA. Magn Reson Med 2013; 70(2):348-357.
  • Johnson CP, Borisch EA, Glockner JF, Young PM, Riederer SJ. Time-resolved dual-station calf-foot three-dimensional bolus chase MR angiography with fluoroscopic tracking. J Magn Reson Imag 2012; 36(5):1168-1178.
  • Johnson CP, Haider CR, Borisch EA, Glockner JF, Riederer SJ. Time-resolved bolus-chase MR angiography with real-time triggering of table motion. Magn Reson Med 2010; 64(3):629-37.