Medical College of Wisconsin
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Nikki Johnston PhD

Nikki Johnston PhD

Associate Professor

Institution: Medical College of Wisconsin
Department: Otolaryngology
Program: Adult

Member of the Cancer Center
Member of the Genomic Sciences and Precision Medicine Center (GSPMC)


  • Pepsin: biomarker, mediator, and therapeutic target for reflux and aspiration. (Johnston N, Dettmar PW, Ondrey FG, Nanchal R, Lee SH, Bock JM) Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018 Dec;1434(1):282-289 PMID: 29774546 05/19/2018    
  • Association of Gel-Forming Mucins and Aquaporin Gene Expression With Hearing Loss, Effusion Viscosity, and Inflammation in Otitis Media With Effusion. (Samuels TL, Yan JC, Khampang P, Dettmar PW, MacKinnon A, Hong W, Johnston N, Papsin BC, Chun RH, McCormick ME, Kerschner JE) JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2017 Aug 01;143(8):810-817 PMID: 28594978 PMCID: PMC5710562 06/09/2017       2 Citations
  • Panel 8: Report on Recent Advances in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. (Preciado D, Granath A, Lin J, Val S, Kurabi A, Johnston N, Vijayasekaran S, Valdez T, Depireux D, Hermansson A) Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2017 04;156(4_suppl):S106-S113 PMID: 28372528 04/05/2017    
  • Pepsin as a biomarker for laryngopharyngeal reflux in children with laryngomalacia. (Luebke K, Samuels TL, Chelius TH, Sulman CG, McCormick ME, Kerschner JE, Johnston N, Chun RH) Laryngoscope 2017 10;127(10):2413-2417 PMID: 28224634 02/23/2017    
  • Airway reflux. (Johnston N, Ondrey F, Rosen R, Hurley BP, Gould J, Allen J, DelGaudio J, Altman KW) Ann N Y Acad Sci 2016 10;1381(1):5-13 PMID: 27310222 10/28/2016       9 Citations
  • Association of microRNA 146 with middle ear hyperplasia in pediatric otitis media. (Samuels TL, Yan J, Khampang P, MacKinnon A, Hong W, Johnston N, Kerschner JE) Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2016 Sep;88:104-8 PMID: 27497395 PMCID: PMC4978186 08/09/2016       3 Citations
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Burden, Even in Children That Aspirate, Does Not Increase Pediatric Hospitalization. (Duncan DR, Amirault J, Johnston N, Mitchell P, Larson K, Rosen RL) J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2016 08;63(2):210-7 PMID: 26794490 PMCID: PMC4917472 01/23/2016       4 Citations
  • Valproic acid suppresses the self-renewal and proliferation of head and neck cancer stem cells. (Lee SH, Nam HJ, Kang HJ, Samuels TL, Johnston N, Lim YC) Oncol Rep 2015 Oct;34(4):2065-71 PMID: 26239260 08/05/2015       6 Citations
  • The Impact of Pepsin on Human Nasal Epithelial Cells In Vitro: A Potential Mechanism for Extraesophageal Reflux Induced Chronic Rhinosinusitis. (Southwood JE, Hoekzema CR, Samuels TL, Wells C, Poetker DM, Johnston N, Loehrl TA) Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2015 Dec;124(12):957-64 PMID: 26127000 07/02/2015       6 Citations
  • Local Synthesis of Pepsin in Barrett's Esophagus and the Role of Pepsin in Esophageal Adenocarcinoma. (Samuels T, Hoekzema C, Gould J, Goldblatt M, Frelich M, Bosler M, Lee SH, Johnston N) Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2015 Nov;124(11):893-902 PMID: 26077392 PMCID: PMC4750403 06/17/2015       1 Citations
  • Association between tracheal pepsin, a reliable marker of gastric aspiration, and head of bed elevation among ventilated neonates. (Garland JS, Alex CP, Johnston N, Yan JC, Werlin SL) J Neonatal Perinatal Med 2014 Jan 01;7(3):185-92 PMID: 25318633 10/17/2014       6 Citations
  • Establishment of an immortalized laryngeal posterior commissure cell line as a tool for reflux research. (Lee SH, Samuels T, Bock JM, Blumin JH, Johnston N) Laryngoscope 2015 Feb;125(2):E73-7 PMID: 25272366 10/02/2014       3 Citations
  • Upper esophageal and pharyngeal cancers. (Bock JM, Howell AB, Johnston N, Kresty LA, Lew D) Ann N Y Acad Sci 2014 Sep;1325:49-56 PMID: 25266014 PMCID: PMC4617690 10/01/2014       1 Citations
  • Differential response of gel-forming mucins to pathogenic middle ear bacteria. (Kerschner JE, Hong W, Khampang P, Johnston N) Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2014 Aug;78(8):1368-73 PMID: 24958163 PMCID: PMC4104932 06/25/2014       10 Citations
  • Chronic pepsin exposure promotes anchorage-independent growth and migration of a hypopharyngeal squamous cell line. (Kelly EA, Samuels TL, Johnston N) Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2014 Apr;150(4):618-24 PMID: 24376122 PMCID: PMC4423599 01/01/2014       6 Citations
  • Curcumin and anthocyanin inhibit pepsin-mediated cell damage and carcinogenic changes in airway epithelial cells. (Samuels TL, Pearson AC, Wells CW, Stoner GD, Johnston N) Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2013 Oct;122(10):632-41 PMID: 24294686 12/04/2013       7 Citations
  • The utility of endoscopy and multichannel intraluminal impedance testing in children with cough and wheezing. (Rosen R, Amirault J, Johnston N, Haver K, Khatwa U, Rubinstein E, Nurko S) Pediatr Pulmonol 2014 Nov;49(11):1090-6 PMID: 24178927 11/02/2013    
  • Laryngopharyngeal reflux and GERD. (Johnston N, Dettmar PW, Strugala V, Allen JE, Chan WW) Ann N Y Acad Sci 2013 Oct;1300:71-79 PMID: 24117635 10/15/2013    
  • Prevalence of pediatric aspiration-associated extraesophageal reflux disease. (Kelly EA, Parakininkas DE, Werlin SL, Southern JF, Johnston N, Kerschner JE) JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2013 Oct;139(10):996-1001 PMID: 23989194 PMCID: PMC4764882 08/31/2013    
  • Extra-esophageal reflux, NOSE score, and sleep quality in an adult clinic population. (Laohasiriwong S, Johnston N, Woodson BT) Laryngoscope 2013 Dec;123(12):3233-8 PMID: 23754257 06/12/2013       5 Citations
  • Potential benefits of pH 8.8 alkaline drinking water as an adjunct in the treatment of reflux disease. (Koufman JA, Johnston N) Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2012 Jul;121(7):431-4 PMID: 22844861 08/01/2012       10 Citations
  • Extra-Esophageal Reflux (EER) and Sleep Disorders. (Laohasiriwong S, Woodson BT, Johnston N) Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2012 Aug;147(2 suppl):P120 PMID: 25718434 08/01/2012    
  • Reproducibility of Salivary Pepsin: Clinic versus Home. (Laohasiriwong S, Johnston N, Woodson BT) Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2012 Aug;147(2 suppl):P195 PMID: 25718691 08/01/2012    
  • Pepsin promotes proliferation of laryngeal and pharyngeal epithelial cells. (Johnston N, Yan JC, Hoekzema CR, Samuels TL, Stoner GD, Blumin JH, Bock JM) Laryngoscope 2012 Jun;122(6):1317-25 PMID: 22570308 PMCID: PMC3816638 05/10/2012       38 Citations
  • The role of extraesophageal reflux in medically and surgically refractory rhinosinusitis. (Loehrl TA, Samuels TL, Poetker DM, Toohill RJ, Blumin JH, Johnston N) Laryngoscope 2012 Jul;122(7):1425-30 PMID: 22539181 04/28/2012       26 Citations
  • Reflux aspiration in children with neurodisability--a significant problem, but can we measure it? (Trinick R, Johnston N, Dalzell AM, McNamara PS) J Pediatr Surg 2012 Feb;47(2):291-8 PMID: 22325378 02/14/2012       22 Citations
  • The presence of pepsin in the lung and its relationship to pathologic gastro-esophageal reflux. (Rosen R, Johnston N, Hart K, Khatwa U, Nurko S) Neurogastroenterol Motil 2012 Feb;24(2):129-33, e84-5 PMID: 22141343 PMCID: PMC3307906 12/07/2011       23 Citations
  • Hoarseness and chronic cough: would you suspect reflux? (Sana S, Sana M, Johnston N, Mittal SK) J Fam Pract 2011 Aug;60(8):458-62 PMID: 21814640 08/05/2011       2 Citations
  • Higher rate of bronchoalveolar lavage culture positivity in children with nonacid reflux and respiratory disorders. (Rosen R, Johnston N, Hart K, Khatwa U, Katz E, Nurko S) J Pediatr 2011 Sep;159(3):504-6 PMID: 21777922 PMCID: PMC3157561 07/23/2011       12 Citations
  • Pepsin detection in patients with laryngopharyngeal reflux before and after fundoplication. (Wassenaar E, Johnston N, Merati A, Montenovo M, Petersen R, Tatum R, Pellegrini C, Oelschlager B) Surg Endosc 2011 Dec;25(12):3870-6 PMID: 21695583 06/23/2011       23 Citations
  • Evidence of extraesophageal reflux in idiopathic subglottic stenosis. (Blumin JH, Johnston N) Laryngoscope 2011 Jun;121(6):1266-73 PMID: 21557240 05/11/2011       40 Citations
  • Review article: reflux and its consequences--the laryngeal, pulmonary and oesophageal manifestations. Conference held in conjunction with the 9th International Symposium on Human Pepsin (ISHP) Kingston-upon-Hull, UK, 21-23 April 2010. (Pearson JP, Parikh S, Orlando RC, Johnston N, Allen J, Tinling SP, Johnston N, Belafsky P, Arevalo LF, Sharma N, Castell DO, Fox M, Harding SM, Morice AH, Watson MG, Shields MD, Bateman N, McCallion WA, van Wijk MP, Wenzl TG, Karkos PD, Belafsky PC) Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2011 Apr;33 Suppl 1:1-71 PMID: 21366630 03/05/2011       60 Citations
  • Analysis of pepsin in tracheoesophageal puncture sites. (Bock JM, Brawley MK, Johnston N, Samuels T, Massey BL, Campbell BH, Toohill RJ, Blumin JH) Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2010 Dec;119(12):799-805 PMID: 21250551 01/22/2011    
  • Rationale for targeting pepsin in the treatment of reflux disease. (Johnston N, Wells CW, Samuels TL, Blumin JH) Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2010 Aug;119(8):547-58 PMID: 20860281 09/24/2010    
  • Pepsin as a marker of extraesophageal reflux. (Samuels TL, Johnston N) Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2010 Mar;119(3):203-8 PMID: 20392035 04/16/2010    
  • Pepsin as a causal agent of inflammation during nonacidic reflux. (Samuels TL, Johnston N) Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2009 Nov;141(5):559-63 PMID: 19861190 10/29/2009       68 Citations
  • Pepsin in nonacidic refluxate can damage hypopharyngeal epithelial cells. (Johnston N, Wells CW, Samuels TL, Blumin JH) Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2009 Sep;118(9):677-85 PMID: 19810610 10/09/2009       53 Citations
  • Immunologic response of the laryngeal mucosa to extraesophageal reflux. (Birchall MA, Bailey M, Gutowska-Owsiak D, Johnston N, Inman CF, Stokes CR, Postma G, Pazmany L, Koufman JA, Phillips A, Rees LE) Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2008 Dec;117(12):891-5 PMID: 19140534 01/15/2009       10 Citations
  • Mucin gene expression in human laryngeal epithelia: effect of laryngopharyngeal reflux. (Samuels TL, Handler E, Syring ML, Pajewski NM, Blumin JH, Kerschner JE, Johnston N) Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2008 Sep;117(9):688-95 PMID: 18834073 10/07/2008       39 Citations
  • The mucosal immune response to laryngopharyngeal reflux. (Rees LE, Pazmany L, Gutowska-Owsiak D, Inman CF, Phillips A, Stokes CR, Johnston N, Koufman JA, Postma G, Bailey M, Birchall MA) Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2008 Jun 01;177(11):1187-93 PMID: 18323539 PMCID: PMC2643204 03/08/2008       25 Citations
  • Receptor-mediated uptake of pepsin by laryngeal epithelial cells. (Johnston N, Wells CW, Blumin JH, Toohill RJ, Merati AL) Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2007 Dec;116(12):934-8 PMID: 18217514 01/26/2008       59 Citations
  • Role of extra-esophageal reflux in chronic otitis media with effusion. (Crapko M, Kerschner JE, Syring M, Johnston N) Laryngoscope 2007 Aug;117(8):1419-23 PMID: 17585281 06/23/2007       64 Citations
  • Activity/stability of human pepsin: implications for reflux attributed laryngeal disease. (Johnston N, Dettmar PW, Bishwokarma B, Lively MO, Koufman JA) Laryngoscope 2007 Jun;117(6):1036-9 PMID: 17417109 04/10/2007       123 Citations
  • Effect of pepsin on laryngeal stress protein (Sep70, Sep53, and Hsp70) response: role in laryngopharyngeal reflux disease. (Johnston N, Dettmar PW, Lively MO, Postma GN, Belafsky PC, Birchall M, Koufman JA) Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2006 Jan;115(1):47-58 PMID: 16466100 02/10/2006       75 Citations
  • Laryngeal epithelial defenses against laryngopharyngeal reflux: investigations of E-cadherin, carbonic anhydrase isoenzyme III, and pepsin. (Gill GA, Johnston N, Buda A, Pignatelli M, Pearson J, Dettmar PW, Koufman J) Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2005 Dec;114(12):913-21 PMID: 16425556 01/24/2006       66 Citations
  • Sensitive pepsin immunoassay for detection of laryngopharyngeal reflux. (Knight J, Lively MO, Johnston N, Dettmar PW, Koufman JA) Laryngoscope 2005 Aug;115(8):1473-8 PMID: 16094128 08/12/2005       77 Citations
  • Pepsin and carbonic anhydrase isoenzyme III as diagnostic markers for laryngopharyngeal reflux disease. (Johnston N, Knight J, Dettmar PW, Lively MO, Koufman J) Laryngoscope 2004 Dec;114(12):2129-34 PMID: 15564833 11/27/2004       132 Citations
  • Cell biology of laryngeal epithelial defenses in health and disease: further studies. (Johnston N, Bulmer D, Gill GA, Panetti M, Ross PE, Pearson JP, Pignatelli M, Axford SE, Dettmar PW, Koufman JA) Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2003 Jun;112(6):481-91 PMID: 12834114 07/02/2003       126 Citations
  • Cell biology of laryngeal epithelial defenses in health and disease: preliminary studies. (Axford SE, Sharp N, Ross PE, Pearson JP, Dettmar PW, Panetti M, Koufman JA) Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2001 Dec;110(12):1099-108 PMID: 11768697 01/05/2002       84 Citations
  • Last update: 10/17/2018
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