Jeffrey Johnson received a B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Kansas in 1994, graduating with Highest Distinction and Honors in Chemistry. He was an NSF Graduate Fellow in the laboratory of David Evans at Harvard University, where he earned his Ph. D. in 1999. He undertook an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship in the laboratory of Robert Bergman at the University of California at Berkeley from 1999-2001 and began as an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina in July, 2001.