Chad Johnson, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Co-Director of the Graduate Studies in Medical Cannabis program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

headshot of Chad JohnsonChad Johnson, PhD
Co-Director, Graduate Studies in Medical Cannabis
Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

20 N Pine Street, N623 (Office)/N706 (Laboratory)
Baltimore, MD 21201


Postdoctoral, PhD, MS – Not currently recruiting


  • Postdoctoral, Medicinal Chemistry/Pharmacology, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • PhD, Medicinal Chemistry/Pharmacology, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • MA, Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry, Johns Hopkins University
  • BS, Chemistry, University of Virginia

Research Interests

Synthesis of novel, fast-acting antidepressants targeting the muscarinic receptors (mAChRs) for major depressive disorder, abuse potential of novel psychoactive substances (PCP and ketamine analogs), and psychedelics for treatment of substance use disorders.

Current Projects

Preclinical Identification of Better Antimuscarinic Antidepressants (NIH/R01-MH107499-03)

Selected Publications

  1. Shaw HE, Patel DR, Gannon BM, Fitzgerald LR, Carbonaro TM, Johnson CR, Fantegrossi WE. Phencyclidine-like abuse liability and psychosis-like neurocognitive effects of novel arylcyclohexylamine drugs of abuse in rodents. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2024 Jan 25:JPET-AR-2023-001942. doi: 10.1124/jpet.123.001942. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38272671.
  2. Johnson CR, Kangas BD, Jutkiewicz EM, Bergman J, Coop A. Drug Design Targeting the Muscarinic Receptors and the Implications in Central Nervous System Disorders. Biomedicines. 2022 Feb 7;10(2):398. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines10020398. PMID: 35203607.
  3. Johnson CR, Kangas BD, Jutkiewicz EM, Winger G, Bergman J, Coop A, Woods JH. Novel Antimuscarinic Antidepressant-like Compounds with Reduced Effects on Cognition. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2021 Jun;377(3):336-345. doi: 10.1124/jpet.120.000337. Epub 2021 Mar 12. PMID: 33712507; PMCID: PMC8140394.
  4. Johnson C, Coop A, Woods J, Jutkiewitz E, Winger G, Bergman J. Methods of Using Muscarinic Antagonists in the Treatment of Depression. PCT/US2020/026802; WO/2020/206410. April 2020.
  5. Saquib M, Ansari MI, Johnson CR, Khatoon S, Kamil Hussain M, Coop A. Recent advances in the targeting of human DNA ligase I as a potential new strategy for cancer treatment. Eur J Med Chem. 2019 Nov 15;182:111657. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2019.111657. Epub 2019 Aug 30. PMID: 31499361.
  6. Johnson CR, Ansari MI, Coop A. Tetrabutylammonium Bromide-Promoted Metal-Free, Efficient, Rapid, and Scalable Synthesis of N-Aryl Amines. ACS Omega. 2018;3(9):10886-10890. doi:10.1021/acsomega.8b01426
  7. Ansari, M. I.; Johnson, C.; Coop, A. PARP Inhibitors: A Breakthrough in Cancer Chemotherapy. Modern Approaches in Drug Design, 2(1), 2018.