Dr. Johnson

Dr. Micah E. Johnson (PI/USF Faculty)

Dr. Micah E. Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mental Health Law & Policy at the University of South Florida. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Florida and completed a National Institute of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Florida. His research interests include a range of topics related to behavioral health and health disparities: the effects of childhood psychological trauma, the epidemiology of polysubstance misuse in pediatric populations, social inequalities, including race and racism, and health disparities among adolescents in the juvenile justice system. Dr. Johnson has a deep passion for teaching, mentoring and training. He aims to provide an enjoyable, inspiration and educational experience for students and challenge students to exercise work ethic, integrity, creativity and passion.

 Dr. K Johnson

Dr. Kimberly Johnson (Co-PI/USF Faculty)

Kimberly A. Johnson, Ph. D., is a research associate professor in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences at USF. In addition to her research and teaching duties, Dr. Johnson serves as the executive director of the International Consortium of Universities for Drug Demand Reduction, a newly formed international membership organization for universities with addiction studies programs. Her interest in the intersection of research and quality improvement has led to her use of large data sets to identify targets for improvement at the system, provider organization and individual patient levels.


James-Angelo Suarez (Assistant Director/USF Doctoral Student)

James-Angelo is a doctoral student in the College of Behavioral & Community Sciences at the University of South Florida. He previously worked as a Middle School Math Instructor for Hillsborough County Public Schools, and now supports the SMART lab. James earned a MPH with a concentration in Behavioral Health from the USF College of Public Health. His research interests primarily concern the implementation of evidence-based child and adolescent behavioral health practices in Title I public schools. When not busy at USF, he enjoys spending time with his partner Shen and his dog Kodi at home where they love to throw down in the kitchen and hang with family and friends.

CPDD photo

SMART Lab Trainees, affiliates, and Johnson Lab members at the 2022 CPDD conference

Trainee Cohort 1
Aditya Samal-Aditya is a double major in Cell & Molecular Biology and Psychology, who is interested in emergency medicine and research pertaining to substance use disorder and overdose. He would like to support patients who are seeking sobriety while conducting research, and bringing to light, the ways that substance use disorder disproportionately affects people of color. 
Angitha Reji-Angitha is a junior double majoring in Spanish and Biomedical Sciences. Her research interests include studying optimism in relation to the rehabilitation of justice-involved youth from different racial backgrounds. 
Darrin Holmes- Darrin is a junior attending the University of South Florida and is majoring in Chemistry. Darrin is researching the cause and effects of drug and substance misuse among underrepresented adolescents. Darrin’s career interests include a future in pharmaceutical research discovering the risks, and ascertaining the chemical makeup associated with prescription and non-prescription drugs.
Dylanis Lopez-Ruiz-Dylanis is a third year Biomedical Sciences major from Hatillo, Puerto Rico. With her bachelor's degree, she plans to pursue medical school with hopes of become a psychiatrist. She is passionate about helping eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health. When she is not at USF, Dylanis enjoys reading and writing, as well as spending time with her loved ones.
Elian Ruiz-Arevalo-Elian is currently pursuing an undergraduate's degree in Biomedical Sciences and plans to further his academic career through the pursuit of a Doctoral degree. His greatest motivators in life come from receiving opportunities that have been denied for many other minorities throughout history. Elian plans to fight for others, so that they too may have the opportunity to achieve greatness.
Hannah Jacobs- Hannah is a Junior at USF, double majoring in Biomedical Sciences and Psychology. She desires to become a Pediatric Dentist and assist children with forming healthy oral hygiene habits. A fun fact is that she has a Goldendoodle puppy named Jax, has never broken a bone before, and English is her second language.
Oluchi Nwankwo-Oluchi is an undergraduate student majoring in Health Sciences with two concentrations while pursuing a minor in Political Science. She aspires to go to medical school and become a pediatrician who emphasizes preventative medicine. In her free time, she enjoys going to concerts, kayaking, and playing online video games

Samay Shah-Samay Shah is a Psychology major with a minor in Addiction Science. He is currently researching the relationship between polysubstance use and social emotional skills in incarcerated adolescents.  

Trainee Cohort 2
Alexander Hernandez- Alexander is a Biomedical Science major double minoring in Aging Sciences and Infection Control. He aspires to become a physician and would love to explore the MD/PhD route. In his free time he enjoys reading, going to the gym and watching baseball.
Andy Bertil-Andy is a Civil Engineering major from Philadelphia, PA. He is interested in developing his research skills and becoming more active in his local community, so that he can help the people who he believes are in the most need of assistance.
Anthony Carmona-  Anthony is a Cellular and Molecular Biology major with a minor in biomedical physics. He aspires to be a physician and is considering the MD-PhD route. He enjoys reading and going to the gym on his free time.
Desiree Sanz-Desiree is a Biomedical Sciences major interested in going to medical school to become an endocrinologist.​ In her free time, her favorite things to do include playing basketball and running.
Elliot Santaella Aguilar- Elliot is a A Biomedical Sciences Major and Psychology Minor who aspires to attend medical school to become a cardiothoracic surgeon or a pediatric psychologist. ​One of his favorite things to do is to help at church service events and sing on the youth ministry worship team at his Hispanic church.
Joel Kallarackal- Joel is a Biomedical Sciences major who hopes to become a physician through the 7-Year BS/MD Program at USF. He loves playing basketball with his friends and going to the gym.
Michael Fredette- is a Bio-Medical Sciences Major with a minor in Nutrition interested in matriculating into Medical School to become an Orthopedic Surgeon with the overall goal to bridge the gap in social disparities within the medical field. Michael hopes to expand into a research career to invest in the future of medicine.
Tamira Godfrey- Tamira is a psychology major wanting to earn a PhD with a concentration in the cognition, neuroscience, and social field. She would love to become a professor. In her free time she enjoys traveling to new places and cafés with friends and drawing.