Casey Johnson, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medical Imaging, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Casey Johnson

Contact Info

[email protected]

Office Phone 612-624-2743

Assistant Professor of Medical Imaging, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Mayo Graduate School Mayo Clinic

BA, Physics and Mathematics, Saint Olaf College


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. This work is done in collaboration with investigators in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Medical School, and College of Science and Engineering and utilizes the world-class MRI resources at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research. Within the Veterinary Clinical Sciences Department and the Veterinary Medical Center, he is also advancing clinical imaging capabilities, teaching about the physics of medical imaging, and providing research mentoring. He is broadly interested in helping to advance medical imaging capabilities at the Veterinary Medical Center and foster new collaborations between the College of Veterinary Medicine and the greater Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota.

Awards & Recognition

2013: Grantee, NARSAD Young Investigator Award

2015: ISMRM Junior Fellow

2017: Grantee, NIH K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award


Research Summary/Interests

Dr. Johnson 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 current research primarily focuses on the development of new MRI methods for musculoskeletal applications. Specifically, he is working to develop, validate, and translate advanced high-resolution, quantitative, 3D MRI methods to comprehensively assess joint disorders that are precursors to osteoarthritis. These methods include quantitative T1rho relaxation time mapping, ultrashort-echo-time imaging, and angiographic imaging using high (3.0 Tesla) and ultrahigh (7.0+ Tesla) field-strength MRI systems. He is particularly interested in imaging the immature skeleton to prognosticate clinical outcome, inform clinical management, and evaluate therapies of pediatric and young adult patients to prevent limb and joint deformities that can lead to long-term disability. He is also involved in several related collaborative projects to investigate degenerative diseases of the knee and spine as well as bone tumors. His work includes imaging of humans and animals using whole-body 3T, 7T, and 10.5T MRI systems and a preclinical 9.4T MRI system.

Research Funding Grants

9/1/2017-8/31/2022, NIH/NIAMS K01AR070894, Ultrahigh-Field MRI of Hip Joint Diseases Leading to Early Osteoarthritis, PI

9/1/2017-6/30/2022, NIH/NIAMS R01AR070020, Novel MRI Techniques for Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)/Osteochondrosis (OC), Co-I

6/10/2019-5/31/2021, NIH/NICHD R03HD097715, Intersegmental Dynamic Mechanisms of Neck Pain In Vivo, Co-I


Tóth F, Johnson CP, Mills B, Nissi MJ, Nykänen O, Ellermann J, Ludwig KD, Tompkins M, Carlson CS. Evaluation of the suitability of miniature pigs as an animal model of juvenile osteochondritis dissecans. J Orthop Res 2019 (epub).

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.

Foltz MH, Kage CC, Johnson CP, Ellingson AM. Non-invasive assessment of biochemical and mechanical properties of lumbar discs through quantitative MRI in asymptomatic volunteers. J Biomech Eng 2017; 139(11):1-7.

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.

Ellermann J, Johnson CP, Wang L, Macalena J, Nelson B, LaPrade RR. New insights into the epiphyseal cartilage origin and subsequent osseous manifestation of juvenile osteochondritis dissecans utilizing a modified clinical MRI protocol. Radiology 2017; 282(3):798-806.

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 T1rho imaging of the brain.

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.