Assistant Professor of the Practice, Medical Education
Assistant Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Diversity & Inclusion
Director, The IDEALS Office
Duke University School of Medicine
Identities: African-American, woman, mother, scientist, mentor, educator, diversity, equity, and inclusion content expert, graduate education specialist, born and raised in the Southeastern US, Christian
Johnna M. Frierson, PhD, a native of Rock Hill, SC, received her bachelor’s degree in Biology at Furman University, and PhD in Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt University. Broadly, her interests and expertise lie in examining and identifying solutions to challenges at the intersection of STEM, education, and equity. Dr. Frierson translates this expertise into developing innovative programs and initiatives to enhance recruitment and retention of aspiring scientists from underrepresented backgrounds, support student development, and expand community outreach to inspire the next generation of STEM scholars. Her passion and work have drawn notice nationally as Dr. Frierson has been quoted by The New York Times, featured in Science magazine, and identified as one of “1000 Inspiring Black Scientists in America” by Cell Mentor. In her current role as an Assistant Professor of the Practice of Medical Education and the Assistant Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Diversity and Inclusion at Duke University School of Medicine she is responsible for leading diversity and inclusion initiatives for graduate students and postdoctoral appointees working in biomedical research. Dr. Frierson and her team develop and implement pertinent professional development activities, academic and wellness programs, and partner with faculty and leaders to cultivate an equitable and supportive community for the scientists of tomorrow.