Johansen Named Chair of the Roy J. Carver Department Of Biochemistry, Biophysics And Molecular Biology

June 29th, 2017

Kristen Johansen, a professor at Iowa State University, has been named chair of its Roy J. Carver Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology.

Johansen currently serves as the department’s interim chair. Her new appointment begins July 1.

Johansen has been an Iowa State faculty member since 1992. She served 11 years in the previous Department of Zoology and Genetics, and as a member of the BBMB faculty since 2003. Her research focuses on the regulation of nuclear organization and function, which involves identifying molecules and the signal transduction pathways that regulate chromatin structure and gene expression. Her work has garnered significant funding from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health among other organizations.

The department has a history of high-impact research and student engagement, and Johansen sees an opportunity to capitalize on that momentum.

“A large percentage of our undergraduate students participate in research and projects like the Stupka Symposium, which bring faculty, students and professionals outside of the university together,” Johansen said. “I would like to build on the success of those initiatives and take it to the next level.”

The department, jointly administered by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS), offers majors in biochemistry, biophysics and agricultural biochemistry. BBMB also offers master’s and doctorate degree programs.

“I am excited to take on this leadership opportunity,” Johansen said. “BBMB is an important piece of Iowa State’s excellent research reputation, with strongly funded research carried out by faculty whose work is published in prominent publications, and who are also recognized in the classroom as excellent educators and mentors.”

Johansen earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University. She has been recognized for her excellence in research and education with the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development CAREER award, the ISU Regent’s Award for Faculty Excellence and the LAS Distinguished Achievement in Research Award. She contributes to the field through an extensive collection of publications and presentations, in addition to involvement in the American Society for Cell Biology, Genetics Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is a world-class learning and research community. Iowa State’s most academically diverse college educates students to become global citizens, providing rigorous academic programs in the sciences, humanities and social sciences within a supportive personalized learning environment. For more information, visit

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offers 27 undergraduate majors preparing students for careers spanning the study of food, environment, energy, climate, nutrition, agricultural production and business and science and technology. This year, the college set its fifth consecutive enrollment record. Iowa State’s agriculture and forestry programs rank in the top tier of such programs around the world, according to QS World University Rankings.


Ed Adcock, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service, 515-294-2314,