Published on March 22, 2022 by Sean Flynt  
Corey Johnson
Corey Johnson

Samford University chemistry professor Corey Johnson has earned a fall, 2022, sabbatical fellowship from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES,) a partnership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Johnson’s sabbatical project is sponsored by Shelley Copley, a University of Colorado in Boulder professor in the Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology Department. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Copley and her research team,” Johson said. “Our project will focus on the characterization of enzymes in a newly evolved microbial metabolic pathway that can degrade toxic pesticides. In fact, the microbe can use pollutants as food or fuel!”

The CIRES project is similar to work Johson has done on fungal and bacterial enzymes with research students and Samford chemistry colleagues Denise Gregory and Brian Gregory. The fellowship, and Samford’s support for it, will help him develop in ways that can enrich such projects at home. “This experience will allow me to grow as a teacher-scholar, expand my professional ties, and return with new skills that will improve the education and training of our undergraduates,” he said.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.