Christine Cole Johnson

Research Interests:

Dr. Christine Cole Johnson is an epidemiologist with a long-time research focus on birth cohort studies and the environmental epidemiology and etiology of allergic disorders, with the goal of the primary prevention of allergic disorders and asthma. She has also had a sustained interest in health disparities, focused on racial/ethnic/SES differences in health and disease.

Dr. Johnson has spent most of her professional years working as a scientist embedded within a vertically integrated health care system, Henry Ford Health (HFH), which serves an extraordinarily large and diverse population. She served as a co-investigator on the Inner-City Asthma Consortium from 2009-2021. She is the original epidemiologist on the Childhood Allergy Study (CAS) birth cohort beginning in 1987 and continuing, and the PI of the Wayne County Health, Environment, Allergy, and Asthma Longitudinal Study (WHEALS) birth cohort established from 2003-2007 and still ongoing. She is the site PI for both these cohorts and the MAAP and CANOE birth cohorts as part of the CREW consortium, a group of birth cohorts collaborating together as part of the national NIH Environmental influences on Childhood Health Outcomes (ECHO) research program and Dr. Johnson is a co-investigator on the Michigan State University ECHO consortium, serving as the asthma epidemiologist. Her current P01 renewal (MAAP2), focused on the importance of the maternal and infant microbiome in immune development, is based on birth cohort research. She also has experience in patient-centered research as PI of an AHRQ funded Patient Centered Outcomes Research Center that developed resources to successfully enhance the development and management of research projects which contributed to her success in obtaining one of the NIH Precision Medicine Cohort “All of Us” health care provider contracts. She was the lead epidemiologist at the HFH site for the PLCO and NLST cancer screening trials and has been an active member of the Health Care Systems Research Network (HCSRN).


Dr. Johnson obtained a masters degree in public health in epidemiology from the University of Michigan and a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston TX. She is the Chair of Public Health Sciences at HFH and a professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology in the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. She has been the Deputy Director of the Wayne State University (WSU) CURES NIEHS-funded Environmental Health Sciences Center since 2016, serving as the primary liaison between HFH and WSU in a collaborative effort to foster significant, relevant and actionable environmental health research programs.

Awards and Honors:

  • Lilienfeld Student Prize Paper Award, Society for Epidemiologic Research (1986)
  • Fellow, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (2005-present)
  • Henry Ford Distinguished Scientist Award (2012)
  • Invited Member, American Epidemiological Society (8/2014-)
  • FP Global Thinker Award (2016)
  • Crain’s Detroit Business Most Notable Women in Health Care (2020)
  • HFHS 2021 Outstanding Publication of the Year
  • Member, Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society (2022-)

NCBI Publications (300+)