Dr. Steven Johnsen, Ph.D.
Scientific Director

Dr. Steven A. Johnsen, Ph.D.

Steven Johnsen was born in Fargo, North Dakota (USA) in 1977. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry from the University of Idaho in 1999. He obtained his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in 2003. After that he was an Alexander von Humboldt and NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) post-doctoral fellow first at the Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg (ZMNH) (2003-2006) and then at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg (2006-2007). In 2007 Dr. Johnsen started his own research group as an Assistant Professor (W1) in the Institute of Molecular Oncology at the University of Göttingen. In 2012 he assumed a position as Associate Professor (W2) in the Institute for Tumor Biology at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf before returning to Göttingen in 2014 as a Full Professor (W3) in the Department of General, Visceral & Pediatric Surgery. During this time Dr. Johnsen served in various university leadership roles in both education and research. In 2019 Dr. Johnsen returned to the Mayo Clinic as a Full Professor for Medicine &  Pharmacology in the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology. In February 2022 he assumed his  current position as Scientific Director of the Robert Bosch Center for Tumor Diseases.  In addition to his role as Scientific Director, Johnsen also leads his own research group entitled  “Molecular Cancer Epigenetics” at the Robert Bosch Center for Tumor Diseases. The group  investigates the epigenetic and transcriptional mechanisms controlling tumor cell identity and   therapy responsiveness. Johnsen has published over 100 scientific articles since the year 2000 (including over 40 last author publications since 2008). His work has been supported by numerous  research organizations and foundations including the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Deutsche  Krebshilfe, Bundesminesterium für Bildung und Forschung, Erich und Gertrud Roggenbuck Stiftung,  Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur Niedersachsen, National Institutes of Health, China Scholarship Council, Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, etc.
 

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Relevant Own Publications

  • Godfrey LK, Forster J, Liffers ST, Schröder C, Köster J, Henschel L, Ludwig KU, Lähnemann D, Trajkovic-Arsic M, Behrens D, Scarpa A, Lawlor RT, Witzke KE, Sitek B, Johnsen SA, Rahmann S, Horsthemke B, Zeschnigk M, Siveke JT. Pancreatic cancer acquires resistance to MAPK pathway inhibition by clonal expansion and adaptive DNA hypermethylation. Clin Epigenetics. 2024 Jan 16;16(1):13. doi: 10.1186/s13148-024-01623-zPMID: 38229153.

  • Kosinsky RL, Gonzalez MM, Saul D, Barros LL, Sagstetter MR, Fedyshyn Y, Nair A, Sun Z, Hamdan FH, Gibbons HR, Perez Pachon ME, Druliner BR, Johnsen SA, Faubion WA. The FOXP3+ Pro-Inflammatory T Cell: A Potential Therapeutic Target in Crohn's Disease. Gastroenterology. 2024 Jan 9:S0016-5085(24)00009-X. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2024.01.007. Epub ahead of print.

  • Hasselluhn MC, Schlösser D, Versemann L, Schmidt GE, Ulisse M, Oschwald J, Zhang Z, Hamdan F, Xiao H, Kopp W, Spitalieri J, Kellner C, Schneider C, Reutlinger K, Nagarajan S, Steuber B, Sastra SA, Palermo CF, Appelhans J, Bohnenberger H, Todorovic J, Kostyuchek I, Ströbel P, Bockelmann A, König A, Ammer-Herrmenau C, Schmidleitner L, Kaulfuß S, Wollnik B, Hahn SA, Neesse A, Singh SK, Bastians H, Reichert M, Sax U, Olive KP, Johnsen SA, Schneider G, Ellenrieder V, Hessmann E. An NFATc1/SMAD3/cJUN Complex Restricted to SMAD4-Deficient Pancreatic Cancer Guides Rational Therapies. Gastroenterology. 2024 Feb;166(2):298-312.e14. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2023.10.026. Epub 2023 Oct 31.

  • Wang X, Kutschat AP, Aggrey-Fynn J, Hamdan FH, Graham RP, Wixom AQ, Souto Y, Ladigan-Badura S, Yonkus JA, Abdelrahman AM, Alva-Ruiz R, Gaedcke J, Ströbel P, Kosinsky RL, Wegwitz F, Hermann P, Truty MJ, Siveke JT, Hahn SA, Hessmann E, Johnsen SA, Najafova Z. Identification of a ΔNp63-Dependent Basal-Like A Subtype-Specific Transcribed Enhancer Program (B-STEP) in Aggressive Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma. Mol Cancer Res. 2023 Sep 1;21(9):881-891. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-22-0916. PMID: 37279184.

  • Hamdan FH, Abdelrahman AM, Kutschat AP, Wang X, Ekstrom TL, Jalan-Sakrikar N, Wegner Wippel C, Taheri N, Tamon L, Kopp W, Aggrey-Fynn J, Bhagwate AV, Alva- Ruiz R, Lynch I, Yonkus J, Kosinsky RL, Gaedcke J, Hahn SA, Siveke JT, Graham R, Najafova Z, Hessmann E, Truty MJ, Johnsen SA. Interactive enhancer hubs (iHUBs) mediate transcriptional reprogramming and adaptive resistance in pancreatic cancer. Gut. 2023 Jun;72(6):1174-1185. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2022-328154. Epub 2023 Mar 8. PMID: 36889906.

  • Zhang Z, Wang X, Hamdan FH, Likhobabina A, Patil S, Aperdannier L, Sen M, Traub J, Neesse A, Fischer A, Papantonis A, Singh SK, Ellenrieder V, Johnsen SA, Hessmann E. NFATc1 Is a Central Mediator of EGFR-Induced ARID1A Chromatin Dissociation During Acinar Cell Reprogramming. Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2023;15(5):1219-1246. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmgh.2023.01.015. Epub 2023 Feb 8. PMID: 36758798.

  • Kosinsky RL, Zerche M, Kutschat AP, Nair A, Ye Z, Saul D, von Heesen M, Friton JJ, Schwarzer AC, Paglilla N, Sheikh SZ, Wegwitz F, Sun Z, Ghadimi M, Newberry RD, Sartor RB, Faubion WA, Johnsen SA. RNF20 and RNF40 regulate vitamin D receptor-dependent signaling in inflammatory bowel disease. Cell Death Differ. 2021 Nov;28(11):3161-3175. doi: 10.1038/s41418-021-00808-w. Epub 2021 Jun 4. PMID: 34088983.

  • Wang X, Kutschat AP, Yamada M, Prokakis E, Böttcher P, Tanaka K, Doki Y, Hamdan FH, Johnsen SA. Bromodomain protein BRDT directs ΔNp63 function and super-enhancer activity in a subset of esophageal squamous cell carcinomas. Cell Death Differ. 2021 Jul;28(7):2207-2220. doi: 10.1038/s41418-021-00751-w. Epub 2021 Mar 3. PMID: 33658703.

  • Kutschat AP, Hamdan FH, Wang X, Wixom AQ, Najafova Z, Gibhardt CS, Kopp W, Gaedcke J, Ströbel P, Ellenrieder V, Bogeski I, Hessmann E, Johnsen SA. STIM1 Mediates Calcium-Dependent Epigenetic Reprogramming in Pancreatic Cancer. Cancer Res. 2021 Jun 1;81(11):2943-2955. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-2874. Epub 2021 Jan 12. PMID: 33436389.

  • Kosinsky RL, Zerche M, Saul D, Wang X, Wohn L, Wegwitz F, Begus-Nahrmann Y, Johnsen SA. USP22 exerts tumor-suppressive functions in colorectal cancer by decreasing mTOR activity. Cell Death Differ. 2020 Apr;27(4):1328-1340. doi: 10.1038/s41418-019-0420-8. Epub 2019 Sep 17. PMID: 31527800.

  • Hamdan FH, Johnsen SA. DeltaNp63-dependent super enhancers define molecular identity in pancreatic cancer by an interconnected transcription factor network. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Dec 26;115(52):E12343-E12352. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1812915116. Epub 2018 Dec 12. PMID: 30541891.

  • Mishra VK, Wegwitz F, Kosinsky RL, Sen M, Baumgartner R, Wulff T, Siveke JT, Schildhaus HU, Najafova Z, Kari V, Kohlhof H, Hessmann E, Johnsen SA. Histone deacetylase class-I inhibition promotes epithelial gene expression in pancreatic cancer cells in a BRD4- and MYC-dependent manner. Nucleic Acids Res. 2017 Jun 20;45(11):6334-6349. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx212. PMID: 28369619.

  • Mishra VK, Subramaniam M, Kari V, Pitel KS, Baumgart SJ, Naylor RM, Nagarajan S, Wegwitz F, Ellenrieder V, Hawse JR, Johnsen SA. Krüppel-like Transcription Factor KLF10 Suppresses TGFβ-Induced Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition via a Negative Feedback Mechanism. Cancer Res. 2017 May 1;77(9):2387-2400. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-2589. Epub 2017 Mar 1. PMID: 28249899.

  • Karpiuk O, Najafova Z, Kramer F, Hennion M, Galonska C, König A, Snaidero N, Vogel T, Shchebet A, Begus-Nahrmann Y, Kassem M, Simons M, Shcherbata H, Beissbarth T, Johnsen SA. The histone H2B monoubiquitination regulatory pathway is required for differentiation of multipotent stem cells. Mol Cell. 2012 Jun 8;46(5):705-13. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2012.05.022. PMID: 22681891.

  • more https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/1l9kydoxukt/bibliography/public/ , ORCID https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1198-5805