Dr Jason L Johnson

MSc, PhD

  • BS2 8HW


Research output per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Jason Johnson is a British Heart Foundation Senior Research Fellow and leads the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Pathology at the University of Bristol.

He has a long-standing interest in the pathophysiology of numerous cardiovascular pathologies including atherosclerosis, aortic aneurysms, and restenosis. His studies include a marriage of basic science and translational cardiovascular research with the goal of facilitating the development and deployment of novel therapies to combat the aforementioned cardiovascular diseases, alongside the identification of potential biomarkers of disease progression.

Since gaining his PhD in 2005, Dr Johnson’s research has underpinned the dogma that not all matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play detrimental roles in atherosclerotic plaque progression. Moreover, he has aided the identification of a macrophage phenotype (under the control of GM-CSF) which is characterised by high MMP-12 and MMP-14 protein expression alongside low TIMP-3 levels. Further work has also identified a novel node of microRNA regulation within GM-CSF macrophages, highlighting several potential new therapeutic avenues, including miR-181b inhibition and the selective inhibition of MMP-12. Collectively, these studies have made a major contribution to understanding the role of matrix metalloproteinases and macrophage heterogeneity in atherosclerotic plaque progression. Supporting studies in human aneurysm samples and pertinent pre-clinical in vivo models has reaffirmed the notion that the proteolytic profile of macrophage subsets predicts aneurysm development and progression. These findings are now being tested in a novel ex vivo human model of aneurysm that will hopefully supplant the requirement for animal studies.


Publication metrics (from Scopus):

Number of publications –73

Sum of total citations – 3333

Avg citations per item - 45.7

Number of citations last year – 299

H-index – 33


Current and Past Academic Leadership and Citizenship Roles:

  • Secretary of the British Atherosclerosis Society
  • British Heart Foundation Project Grant Committee (2012-2015)
  • Member of the British Council Research Links Grants Committee (2015-ongoing)
  • Editorial Board Membership (Cardiovascular Research, and Vascular Pharmacology)
  • British Atherosclerosis Society John French Lecturer 2015
  • Member of the European Society of Cardiology Working Group on Pathogenesis of Atherosclerosis
  • Member of the American Heart Association (councils of ATVB, and Basic Cardiovascular Sciences)
  • Co-Director of Research (Cardiovascular) for Bristol Medical School
  • Deputy Head of Research for School of Clinical Sciences
  • External examiner iBSc in Cardiovascular Research University of Sheffield

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Jason L Johnson is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 7 Similar Profiles

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.


Research Output

Galectin-3 identifies a subset of macrophages with a potential beneficial role in atherosclerosis: Macrophage galectin-3 prevents plaque progression

Di Gregoli, K., Somerville, M., Bianco, R., Thomas, A. C., Frankow, A., Newby, A. C., George, S. J., Jackson, C. L. & Johnson, J. L., 28 May 2020, In : Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 40, p. 1491-1509 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Open Access
  • 23 Downloads (Pure)

    The predictive potential of circulating microRNA for future cardiovascular events

    Johnson, J. L., 18 May 2020, In : Cardiovascular Research. 3 p., cvaa145.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • Aging differentially modulates the Wnt pro-survival signalling pathways in vascular smooth muscle cells

    Brown, B. A., Connolly, G. M., Mill, C. E. J., Williams, H., Angelini, G. D., Johnson, J. L. & George, S. J., Feb 2019, In : Aging Cell. 18, 1, 14 p., e12844.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    211 Downloads (Pure)


    BAS John French Lecturer 2012

    Johnson, Jason L (Recipient), 4 Jun 2012

    Prize: Prizes, Medals, Awards and Grants


    PhD External Examiner

    Jason L Johnson (Examiner)

    16 Sep 2015

    Activity: Examination typesExternal Examination and Supervision

    British Council (External organisation)

    Jason L Johnson (Member)


    Activity: Membership typesMembership or peer review panel or committee

    Invited Seminar

    Jason L Johnson (Participant)

    18 Sep 2015

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesInvited talk

    Supervised Work

    Development and characterisation of a human ex vivo model of aneurysm

    Author: Bianco, R., 1 Oct 2019

    Supervisor: Johnson, J. L. (Supervisor) & George, S. J. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)