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Nathan Johnson, PT, DPT, PhD's picture
Nathan Johnson, PT, DPT, PhD
Office Location: 

Room 204C Wethington Building

900 South Limestone Street

Lexington, Kentucky 40536-0200

Office Phone Number: 
(859) 218-5429
Fax Number: 
(859) 257-2826
Position Title: 
Assistant Professor


Dr. Johnson received his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Bellarmine University in 2004. After practicing as a staff physical therapist at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital, he returned to school and completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Kentucky in 2012. Dr. Johnson received his Ph.D. in Anatomy and Neurobiology.


  • Cardiorespiratory fitness and brain health
  • Successful aging through lifestyle modification
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging
  • Arterial Spin Labeling
  • Preventive medicine through lifestyle modification

Educational Focus

  • Functional anatomy
  • Anatomy of the central nervous system
  • Anatomical atlases for students and clinicians
  • Team-Based Learning (TBL) in the classroom


Dr. Johnson enjoys cycling, camping, hiking and just about any outdoor pursuit when he is not engaged in research and teaching (which is 99.999999999% of the time).

Recent Publications

Johnson, N.F., Gold, B.T., Brown, C.B., Anggles, E., Bailey, A.L., Clasey, J.L., Powell, D.K. (2017) Endothelial function is associated with white matter microstructure and executive function in older adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. PMID: 28824417

Hakun, J.G., Johnson, N.F. (2017) Dynamic range of frontoparietal functional modulation is associated with working memory capacity limitations in older adults. Brain and Cognition. PMID: 28865310

Brown, C.B., Johnson, N.F., Anderson-Mooney, A., Jicah, G.A., Shaw, L.M., Traojanowski, J.Q., Van Eldik, L.J., Schmitt, F.A., Smith, C.D., Gold, B.T. (2017) Development, validation and application of a new fornix template for studies of aging and preclinical Alzheimer's disease. Neuroimage: Clinical. PMID: 27942453

Johnson, N.F., Gold, B.T., Bailey, A.L., Clasey, J.L., Hakun, J.G., White, M., Long, D.E., Powell, D.K. (2015) Cardiorespiratory fitness modifies the relationship between myocardial function and cerebral blood flow in older adults. NeuroImage. PMID 26032886

Johnson NF, Kim C, Clasey JL, Bailey AL, Gold BT (2012). Cardiorespiratory fitness is positively correlated with cerebral white matter integrity in healthy seniors. Neuroimage. 59(2): 1514–1523
Johnson NF, Kim C, Gold BT (2012). Socioeconomic status is positively correlated with frontal white matter integrity in aging. AGE. PMID: 23160736