Tim Johnson, PhD

Professor, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Tim Johnson


Office Phone
Office Address

205C Veterinary Science Building
1971 Commonwealth Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55108
United States


Professor, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Director of Research and Development
Mid - Central Research and Outreach Center, Willmar MN


  • PhD, Molecular Pathogenesis, North Dakota State University
  • BS, Microbiology, North Dakota State University


Post-doctoral Fellow, Iowa State University

Expand all



The Johnson Lab includes experts in poultry microbiology, bacterial pathogen ecology, and bacterial genomics. Research in the Johnson Lab has the primary goal of protecting poultry health and sustaining our healthy food supply. To that end, we strive to enhance poultry health through a better understanding of the microbiota of the bird, the biology of antimicrobial resistance, the efficacy of antimicrobial alternatives, and pathogen ecology. We also strive to understand the ecology and evolution of foodborne pathogens, primarily Salmonella, towards mitigating them on farm and preventing human illnesses.

Awards & recognition

  • New investigator award, Plasmid Biology Society
  • Young Investigator Award, American Association for Avian Pathologists


Research summary/interests

My research and outreach programs are currently focused on the following:

  • Understand the ecology and evolution of poultry bacterial pathogens, including avian pathogenic E. coli and Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale (ORT).
  • Identify alternatives to antibiotics that can be used to Identify and refine poultry-adapted probiotics (Lactobacillus spp.) that can be used to enhance performance and reduce disease in agricultural animals.
  • Understand the microbial communities (microbiome) of poultry, and develop microbiome-based solutions for enhancing bird performance.
  • Develop tools that enable poultry producers to rapidly identify emergent Salmonella strains that present an enhanced risk to cause human illness.


Selected publications

Dr. Johnson, Google Scholar



  • POUL 5101 Living in a microbial world and raising animals: the poultry perspective
  • POUL 5102 Living in a microbial world and raising animals: the poultry perspective
  • GCC 3016 Antibiotic resistance - How can we avoid the apocalypse?
  • VMED 5420 Molecular epidemiology of infectious disease