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Senior Lecturer, Child and Family Health, Anglia Ruskin University

I am a clinician with 20 years of experience, specialising in paediatrics with a special interest in respiratory paediatrics, in particular sleep medicine. I am the clinical lead for the paediatric sleep service in Essex (UK).

My PhD (completed 2018) was at Cambridge University, UK where I studied cell fate decision making in the respiratory epithelium. My research since has a more translational focus, mainly within the field of paediatric sleep medicine and I am currently setting up a case-control study aimed at optimising ambulatory sleep studies in children. I'm currently also focussed on COVID-19 in children, with an interest in biomarkers associated with the COVID-19 related persistent inflammatory multi-systemic syndrome seen in a small minority of UK children during the pandemic.

In August 2019 I took up the post of Senior Lecturer in Child Health at a brand new medical school (Anglia Ruskin School of Medicine). I am the lead for undergraduate paediatrics as well as embryology and clinical genetics. I am also the course lead for years 2 and 3 and I commence my PGCert in September 2020.


MBChB (1996-2001, University of Leeds, UK)
MRCPCH (2006)
PhD (2018, University of Cambridge Dept of Pathology)

Selected publications:

1. Johnson JA, Watson JK, Nikolić MZ, Rawlins EL. Fank1 and Jazf1 promote multiciliated cell differentiation in the mouse airway epithelium. Biol Open. 2018 Apr 16;7(4). pii: bio033944. doi: 10.1242/bio.033944.

2. Marko Z. Nikolić, Oriol Caritg, Quitz Jeng, Jo-Anne Johnson, Dawei Sun, Kate J. Howell, Jane L. Brady, Usua Laresgoiti, George Allen, Matthias Zilbauer, Adam Giangreco, Emma L. Rawlins, Human embryonic lung epithelial tips are multipotent progenitors that can be expanded in vitro as long-term self-renewing organoids. ELife. 2017 Jun 30;6. pii: e26575. doi: 10.7554/eLife.26575.

3. Correia LL, Johnson JA, McErlean P, Bauer J, Farah H, Rassl DM, Rintoul RC, Sethi T, Lavender P, Rawlins EL, Littlewood TD, Evan GI, McCaughan FM. SOX2 Drives Bronchial Dysplasia in a Novel Organotypic Model of Early Human Squamous Lung Cancer. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2017 Feb 15.

4. Balasooriya GI, Johnson JA, Basson MA, Rawlins EL. An FGFR1-SPRY2 Signaling Axis Limits Basal Cell Proliferation in the Steady-State Airway Epithelium. Dev Cell. 2016 Apr 4;37(1):85-97

5. Johnson JA, Bush A, Buchdahl R. Does presenting with meconium ileus affect the prognosis of children with cystic fibrosis? Pediatr Pulmonol. 2010 Oct;45(10):951-8.


  • 2019–2020
    Honorary Clinical Appointment (Lead for Paediatric Sleep Medicine), Colchester Hospital, Essex
  • 2019–2020
    Senior Lecturer Child and Family Health, Anglia Ruskin School of Medicine
  • 2011–2018
    Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Training Fellow, Cambridge University