Congratulations to Dr. Christine Kreuder Johnson (VMD, MPVM, Ph.D.), recipient of the 2017 UC Davis Academic Senate Distinguished Public Service Award. This award recognizes individuals who have consistently surpassed expectations in their pursuit of excellence, modelled exemplary leadership and improved the experience of the campus community and beyond.

Johnson is one of the leads on the USAID PREDICT Project, which works in more than 30 countries to enable global surveillance for pathogens that can spillover from animal hosts to people. She is also the Director of the EpiCenter for Disease Dynamics at UC Davis, which develops innovative tools to evaluate animal, human and environmental mechanisms underlying disease emergence and distribution. 

Johnson is being honored for her contributions to policy development and implementation strategies for the protection of California’s precious wildlife resources. She works closely with state and federal agencies and other UC faculty colleagues to pursue solutions to challenging environment questions. This includes pioneering work that led to the discovery of pathogen pollution in our coastal systems, contributions to the management and recovery of numerous endangered species, and protection of wildlife corridors.

Johnson provided science-based evidence to support decision making regarding the impacts of lead on California wildlife, including the critically-endangered California condor. Ultimately, the passage of Assembly Bill 711 made California the first state to ban the use of lead ammunition for all wildlife shooting purposes. She developed numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts, wildlife publication pieces, provided verbal testimony, and communicated with media outlets (including organizations like National Geographic,) to help spread the word on lead toxicity in wildlife. As a controversial topic among some groups, Johnson openly shared data while fending off intense criticism.

Johnson’s dedication, commitment and enthusiasm to investigate critical issues is well recognized by her collaborators – federal and state agencies (USFWS, NPS, CDFW, NMFS, NOAA, US Marine Mammal Commission, USAID, and DoD), as well as students and faculty of UC campuses.

Johnson joined the school’s faculty in 2006 in the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology and as a member of the One Health Institute team. She is recognized by her colleagues for her outstanding leadership and contributions in the design of the DVM and MPVM curricula, in graduate student mentoring, and her research investigations. She will receive her award at a ceremony scheduled in May.