Philip Johnson, BVSc, MS, MRCVS, DACVIM-LAIM

​AVMA Members Working to Advance Animal and Human Health through Research

Professor of Equine Internal Medicine, University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine

Educational Background

My veterinary degree was obtained in England (University of Bristol) in 1981. I also obtained an MS and ACVIM board certification at the University of Illinois (1984-1987). Presently, I am Professor of Equine Internal Medicine at the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine (where I have been since 1991).

Do you have any pets?

Not presently.

What is the focus of your research?

Equine laminitis, especially the pathophysiological processes that lead to laminitis.

What is the scientific and clinical significance of your research?

Over the years, I have been able to contribute to our collective understanding regarding the disease processes that lead to laminitis, an obviously important disease for horses, ponies and the horse industry overall. Our efforts have usually been team-based and results have changed the way that we understand how laminitis develops in horses. All being well, we may develop a clinically useful method for prevention of laminitis in some at-risk individuals (those with gastrointestinal disease, especially.)

What do you find most enjoyable about research?

I really enjoy the process of discovery–looking into things and making connections, often by studying one disease in one species and then extrapolating it to our (equine) species of interest. That we can potentially help with this troublesome disease, is especially enjoyable. I recognize that many of the things we ‘discover’ today might not see ‘relevance’ until other key stones are overturned in the future–it’s a process!

What advice do you have for veterinarians considering a career in biomedical research?

Follow your passion and delve into the reading. Knowing about your own focus of interest as well as possible and then bringing context from other disciplines is important. Long gone are the days when a single scientist made individual discoveries in his lab working alone–the important thing is to develop collaborations with other like-minded people in the same discipline, but also in other (less related!) areas of biomedical science–it is amazing what they can bring to the table!

See how other AVMA members are advancing animal and human health