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Vanderbilt University School of Medicine professor Kevin Johnson was recently appointed as the 27th Penn Integrates Knowledge professor.

Penn named Kevin Johnson, a professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, the 27th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor.

The Penn Integrates Knowledge Program was founded in 2005 to recruit faculty with appointments in two or more schools at Penn, and whose work displays the integration of knowledge across disciplines. Johnson will hold appointments in the Department of Computer and Information Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics in the Perelman School of Medicine, as well as a secondary appointment in the Annenberg School of Communication, Penn Today reported.

“One of the things that Penn offers as a university is an easy way to hear from a group of students who are brilliant, who are engaging in communication and research,” Johnson said. "I've had the chance to give talks about electronic health and the research I’m doing, and people had great questions — they bring in their passions.”

Johnson will also serve as vice president for applied informatics in the University of Pennsylvania Health System and a professor of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Penn Today reported.

He is currently the chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt, where he has taught for almost two decades. His research encompasses computer science, biomedical informatics, and bioengineering, Penn Today reported. 

Johnson said his research focuses specifically on how to improve pediatric dosing and how to use computing to improve overall compliance with medication. In order for his projects to be successful, Johnson said people need to understand the importance of biomedical informatics.

"I want to focus on that gap in communication by bringing that skillset into engineering informatics, and bridge those areas that Annenberg allows me to think about," he said.

Johnson has authored over 150 publications and has held leadership positions in the American Medical Informatics Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Board of Pediatrics Informatics Advisory Committee. 

He holds a medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a master's degree in medical informatics from Stanford University, and a bachelor's degree in biology from Dickinson College.

“I really love to teach and to mentor — I’m happy to step out of my comfort zone and ask and answer questions, which is what a lot of people need from their mentors,” Johnson said.