Curtis Johnson, Ph.D.

Curtis Johnson

CURTIS JOHNSON  Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

201K STAR Campus
(located inside the DRI suite)
P: 302-831-4098

Lab Website


  • Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, 2013, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, 2010, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2007, Georgia Institute of Technology


  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Elastography
  • Brain Tissue Mechanics
  • Neuroimaging


Dr. Johnson uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the mechanics of tissues in the body and how they can be used to understand the structure, function, and health of various organs, with a specific focus on the human brain. In particular, Dr. Johnson uses the magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) technique, which noninvasively probes tissue viscoelasticity through the imaging of shear waves generated in the body. His research includes the development of high-resolution MRE imaging protocols through MRI pulse sequence design, image reconstruction schemes for accelerated MRE, and incorporation of advanced tissue models such as anisotropy and poroelasticity. Dr. Johnson explores using the MRE technique for a variety of applications in neuroscience, neurology, and neurosurgery, such as better understanding the structure-function relationship of the hippocampus and evaluating meningiomas prior to surgical resection.


  1. H Schwarb, CL Johnson, AM Daugherty, CH Hillman, AF Kramer, NJ Cohen, AK Barbey, “Aerobic Fitness, Hippocampal Viscoelasticity, and Relational Memory Performance,” NeuroImage, 2017; 153:179-188.


  2. BM Sandroff, CL Johnson, RW Motl, “Exercise Training Effects on Memory and Hippocampal Viscoelasticity in Multiple Sclerosis: A Novel Application of Magnetic Resonance Elastography,” Neuroradiology, 2017; 59(1):61-67.
  3. CL Johnson, H Schwarb, MDJ McGarry, AT Anderson, GR Huesmann, BP Sutton, NJ Cohen, “Viscoelasticity of Subcortical Gray Matter Structures,” Human Brain Mapping, 2016; 37(12):4221-4233.


  4. AT Anderson, EEW Van Houten, MDJ McGarry, KD Paulsen, JL Holtrop, BP Sutton, JG Georgiadis, CL Johnson, “Observation of Direction-Dependent Mechanical Properties in the Human Brain with Multi-Excitation MR Elastography,” Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 2016; 59:538-546.


  5. H Schwarb, CL Johnson, MDJ McGarry, NJ Cohen, “Medial Temporal Lobe Viscoelasticity and Relational Memory Performance,” NeuroImage, 2016; 132:534-541.


  6. C Ma, F Lam, Q Ning, CL Johnson, Z-P Liang, “High-Resolution 1H-MRSI of the Brain Using Short-TE SPICE,” Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 2017; 77(2):467-479.


  7. F Lam, C Ma, B Clifford, CL Johnson, Z-P Liang, “High-Resolution 1H-MRSI of the Brain Using SPICE: Data Acquisition and Image Reconstruction,” Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 2016; 76(4):1059-1070.


  8. CL Johnson, JL Holtrop, MDJ McGarry, JB Weaver, KD Paulsen, JG Georgiadis, BP Sutton, “3D Multislab, Multishot Acquisition for Fast, Whole-Brain MR Elastography with High Signal-to-Noise Efficiency,” Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 2014; 71(2):477-485.


  9. MDJ McGarry, CL Johnson, BP Sutton, EEW Van Houten, JG Georgiadis, JB Weaver, KD Paulsen, “Including Spatial Information in Nonlinear Inversion MR Elastography Using Soft Prior Regularization,” IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 2013; 32(10):1901-1909.


  10. CL Johnson, MDJ McGarry, AA Gharibans, JB Weaver, KD Paulsen, H Wang, WC Olivero, BP Sutton, JG Georgiadis, “Local Mechanical Properties of White Matter Structures in the Human Brain,” NeuroImage, 2013; 79:145-152.