PRINCESS ANNE, MD-(February 12, 2020)-Zoe Johnson, a graduate student pursuing a doctorate in toxicology at UMES, was recently appointed to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology subcommittee on Students, Postdoctoral Education, and Early Career Professionals. 

“It’s an honor to be appointed and serve at the highest level of science and technology policy-making in our nation,” Johnson said.  “The subcommittee is the first of its kind and I’m challenged to be one of its trailblazers.”

The Council is an advisory group of “the nation’s leading scientists and engineers, appointed by the President to augment the science and technology advice available to him from inside the White House and from cabinet departments and other Federal agencies.” It is consulted about, and often makes policy recommendations “concerning the full range of issues where understandings from the domains of science, technology, and innovation bear potentially on the policy choices before the President.” The Council is administered by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Johnson has also served as an ambassador with the White House Initiative on HBCUs for the past three years and was recognized during its 2019 Annual HBCU Week Conference in Washington, D.C.  He received a student recognition award as part of the group’s Excellence in Innovation and Competitiveness Awards.         

Johnson, former president of UMES’ Graduate Student Council, is poised to defend his dissertation next fall.   His research focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of environmental toxicants that play a role in the etiology of neurodegenerative disorders and terms neuroprotective strategies for neurodegeneration. In layman’s terms, he is studying promising approaches to attenuating Parkinson’s disease processes in the laboratory. 

Above:  UMES graduate student Zoe Johnson is pictured with the President at the signing of the FUTURE Act in December.

Gail Stephens, agricultural communications and media associate, School  of Agricultural & Natural Sciences, 410-621-3850,

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