Dr. M. Ross Johnson, a longtime member of The Graduate School’s Graduate Education Advancement Board, passed away on October 17, 2016.
A recognized leader in medicinal chemistry, Dr. Johnson held numerous positions within companies focused on drug design. Most recently, he served as co-chairman and co-founder of Parion Sciences, a development stage company that targets respiratory and eye diseases related to compromised mucosal defenses.
Dr. Johnson was a generous supporter of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; in addition to his role on The Graduate School’s board, he served on the chemistry department’s advisory board and the Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Board of Visitors.
Among their areas of University support, Dr. Johnson and his wife, Charlotte, endowed a dissertation fellowship within The Graduate School’s Royster Society of Fellows. Since 2001, 16 doctoral students have received the Ross and Charlotte Johnson Family Dissertation Fellowship – allowing each of these students a year to focus full-time on writing his or her best dissertation.
“Ross provided tremendous guidance and generosity that helped The Graduate School and other academic areas direct resources to graduate student need. Drawing upon his own exceptional career, he shared a valuable perspective on professional development and other opportunities that would best prepare students for 21st-century careers,” said Steve Matson, dean of The Graduate School.
“Ross and Charlotte were always very interested in meeting graduate students, and learning about their research and career plans. They have been generous in supporting students’ individual achievements, and students have told us how much their demonstrated interest meant to them.”