Johann, Oncologist and Proteomics Researcher, Joins UAMS Myeloma Institute

By Jon Parham

Johann has been appointed associate professor of medicine and biomedical informatics in the UAMS College of Medicine. He also has been named director of informatics in the Myeloma Institute.

Johann completed fellowships in medical oncology and hematology, as well as a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical proteomics, at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. While there, he was twice selected for an American Association of Cancer Research Scholar-In-Training Award for work involving bioinformatics.

His research interests include application of advanced molecular profiling and high-throughput technologies for the characterization of molecular alterations in cancer cells. Areas of emphasis include high-resolution identity-based mass spectrometry, laser capture microdissection (LCM), bioinformatics and cancer biology.

Johann earned his medical degree at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He received a master’s degree in computer science from Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Mass Spectrometry and the American Association for Cancer Research.

Prior to attending medical school, Johann worked as an engineer for Unisys Corp., where he directed a team of engineers on projects related to avionics software design and instrumentation.

Researchers at the Myeloma Institute have been on the forefront of identifying the genetic fingerprint of multiple myeloma. After a decade of follow-up on more than 1,000 patients receiving uniform treatment, the researchers were able to show that patterns of just 70 of the 25,000 genes tested could predict less aggressive, or low-risk, and more aggressive, or high-risk, forms of the disease.

In 2008, the Myeloma Institute began the two clinical trials using a tool developed by UAMS researchers for identifying patients with a more aggressive or less aggressive form of multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood’s plasma. They were believed to be the first clinical trials for multiple myeloma or any other cancer to involve risk-specific treatment plans based on the genetic makeup of the tumor.

Established in 1989, the Myeloma Institute was the first center in the world devoted exclusively to research and clinical care of multiple myeloma and related disorders.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. Named best Little Rock metropolitan area hospital by U.S. News & World Report, it is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has more than 2,800 students and 775 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit or