Matthew Johnson

Academic, Scientist

Matthew Johnson is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He received his bachelor of science in psychology from Eastern Oregon University in 1999 and his doctorate from the University of Vermont in 2004 in experimental pharmacology/behavioral pharmacology.

The underlying theme of Dr. Johnson’s career has been the understanding of human behavioral change, particularly when it comes to addiction recovery. He studies the decision-making that underlies drug addiction and he conducts studies to understand the behavioral and psychological effects of psychoactive drugs in humans. Regarding the latter, he has studied drugs such as psilocybin, salvinorin A, cocaine, methamphetamine, caffeine, and nicotine.

Dr. Johnson is the lead author of a landmark 2018 paper published in Neuropharmacology which makes the case for reclassifying psilocybin from schedule I to schedule IV under the US Controlled Substances Act.1 His recommendation for rescheduling psilocybin is contingent on successful phase 3 clinical trials using psilocybin-assisted therapy for treatment-resistant depression which are in progress. In the paper, Dr. Johnson states unequivocally that:

…at this point the data suggest that the potential therapeutic benefits of psilocybin-assisted therapy are real, and of potential medical and public health significance.

A complete list of Dr. Johnson’s scientific papers is found here on Google Scholar.

  1. Johnson MW, Griffiths RR, Hendricks PS, Henningfield JE. The abuse potential of medical psilocybin according to the 8 factors of the Controlled Substances Act. Neuropharmacology. 2018. doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2018.05.012