Meet Candice Johnson, Ph.D.

Monday, June 8, 2020
Candice Johnson, PhD
Candice Johnson, PhD

Candice Johnson, PhD, joined the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health June 1, 2020, as faculty in the research unit and the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. She earned a doctorate in epidemiology from Emory University in 2012 and a Master of Science in Epidemiology from University of Ottawa (Canada) in 2008.


Why did you choose to join the faculty in the Department of Family Medicine & Community Health?

I was looking for a position where I could develop a strong research program in a supportive environment—and I found it here. There’s a real feeling of energy around research in the department. An added bonus is the North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center, which brings together occupational safety and health researchers and clinicians from Duke, UNC, and N.C. State. I’m looking forward to working with members of the department on new and ongoing research projects in occupational, environmental, and reproductive health.

Where were you working previous to Duke? What was your role there?

I worked as an occupational epidemiologist at CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for the past eight years. For two of those, I was a member of the Epidemic Intelligence Service—also known as CDC’s “disease detectives.” At NIOSH I studied workplace exposures that affect women’s health in occupations such as flight attendants, teachers, and nurses. I also assisted in health hazard evaluations in various workplaces and deployed in support of CDC’s Ebola and Zika virus responses.

What are your research interests?

I study how workplace exposures and work-related policies affect the health of workers and their families, but my attempts to specialize further have been largely unsuccessful. My list of research interests is continually growing and includes fluid intake and bathroom access at work, occupational health inequities, women’s health, reproductive health, urologic conditions, and epidemiologic methods.

Are there any major research grants you have been a part of or are currently working on?

I'm collaborating on the occupational components of large epidemiologic studies including the Nurses’ Health Studies and the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. During CDC’s Zika virus response, I led the study design for a USAID-funded prospective cohort study of pregnant women in Colombia to determine the maternal, fetal, and child health effects of Zika virus infection during pregnancy.

Is there any other information you would like to share?

I founded the NIOSH curling team and led it to a victory-less season, but we still had fun and introduced curling to a few new fans. If there are curlers or aspiring curlers in the department, let’s talk! This Canadian is ready for some low-expectations curling.