Marie Johanson, PT, PhD


Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine

Interim Director

Division of Physical Therapy


  • BA, University of California, Berkeley, 1979
  • Cert, Emory University, 1982
  • MS, Georgia State University, 1991
  • PhD, Georgia State University, 2003


Dr. Marie Johanson is a Professor and Interim Director in the Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. She completed her professional training in physical therapy at Emory University in 1982 and earned a post-professional master’s degree in Orthopedic Physical Therapy (1991) and a PhD in Higher Education (2003) from Georgia State University. She has been a certified orthopedic specialist since 1994.

Dr. Johanson’s primary teaching responsibilities within the DPT program are Course Director for Evidenced Based Practice (DPT 765) and and Instructor for Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation (DPT 800). Her clinical research focuses on the relationship between lower extremity impairments and gait kinetics/kinematics and the effect of physical therapist interventions on lower extremity impairments and gait. Dr. Johanson is the Chair-Elect of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties and a consultant on a collaborative Emory/Tbilisi State Medical University, Republic of Georgia USAID grant.


  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • American Physical Therapy Association, Education Section
  • American Physical Therapy Association, Orthopedic Section
  • American Physical Therapy Association, Research Section
  • Physical Therapy Association of Georgia


  • Dean’s Teaching Award, Emory University School of Medicine, 2017
  • Physical Therapy Association of Georgia Achievement in Education Award, 2011
  • American Physical Therapy Association Sports Section Breg Award (best research article of the year), 1992
  • Georgia State University Certificate of Achievement in Academics, Student Government Association of Academic Affairs and the Honor Society Council, 1991
  • Emory University U.S. DOE RSA Traineeship Grant, 1981-82


Dr. Johanson's research focuses on the biomechanics of walking among individuals with lower extremity impairments, before and after specific interventions, with particular emphasis on the foot and ankle. Her ultimate goal is to develop or refine rehabilitative interventions that optimize patients’ gait patterns, resulting in improved function. 


  • Bridges PH, Carter VM, Phillips T, Conwell R, Hensley B, Kimbrell A, Sigle M, Greenfield BH, Johanson MA. An Assessment of the reliability and validity of a clinical evaluation instrument: an example from a private physical therapy educational program. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 2018, In Press.
  • Rossi A, Blaustein S, Brown J, Dieffenderfer K, Ervin E, Griffen S, Frierson E, Geist K, Johanson MA. Spinal and peripheral dry needling versus dry needling alone among individuals with a history of lateral ankle sprain: a randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 2017, 12 :1034-1047.
  • Geist K, Bradley C, Hoffman A, Koester R, Roche F, Shields A, Frierson E, Rossi A, Johanson MA. Clinical effets of dry needling among asymptomatic individuals with hamstring tightness: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 2017, 26:507-517.
  • Geist K, Rossi A, Ander DS, White M, Johanson MA, Davis B. The physical therapist’s expertise in the Emergency Medicine residency curriculum: an academic model for integrated health care education. Journal of Physical Therapy Education,2016, 30:17-23.
  • Johanson MA, Miller MB, Coe JB, Campo M. Orthopaedic physical therapy: update to the Description of Specialty Practice. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 2016, 46:9-18.
  • Kapasi ZF, Pullen SD, Greene B, Herdman SJ, Johanson MA. The role of dual degrees in the physical therapist education program at Emory University. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 2016, 30:31-39.
  • Johanson MA, Armstrong M, Hopkins C, Keen ML, Robinson M, Stephenson S. Gastrocnemius stretching program more effective in increasing ankle/rearfoot dorsiflexion when subtalar joint positioned in pronation compared to supination. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 2015, 24:307-314.
  • Johanson MA, DeArment A, Hines K, Riley E, Martin M, Thomas J, Geist K. The effect of subtalar joint position on dorsiflexion of the ankle/rearfoot versus midfoot/forefoot during gastrocnemius stretching. Foot & Ankle International. 2014, 35:63-70.
  • Abelew TA, Cuda BJ, Koontz JE, Stell JC, Johanson MA. Influence of gender on gastrocnemius muscle activity during the stance phase of gait. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation. 2012, 15:1-10.
  • Conley KA, Geist K, Shaw JN, Labib SA, Johanson MA. The Effect of Goniometric Alignment on Passive Ankle Dorsiflexion Range of Motion Among Patients with Ankle Arthrodesis or Arthroplasty. Foot & Ankle International. 2012, 8:176-179.
  • Dinh NV, Freeman HC, Granger JE, Wong SA, Johanson MA. Gastrocnemius stretching in non-weight bearing and weight bearing is equally effective for improving ankle dorsiflexion range of motion. International Journal of Sports Medicine. 2011,32:205-210.
  • Johanson MA, Allen JC, Matsumoto M, Ueda Y, Wilcher KM. Effect of heel lifts on plantarflexor and dorsiflexor activity during gait. Foot & Ankle International.2010, 31:1014-1020.
  • Johanson MA, Greenfeld L, Hung C, Walters R, Watson C. The relationship between forefoot and rearfoot static alignment in pain-free individuals with above average forefoot varus angles. Foot & Ankle Specialist. 2010, 3:112-116.
  • Johanson MA, Cuda BJ, Koontz JE, Stell JC, Abelew TA. Effect of stretching on ankle and knee angles and gastrocnemius activity during the stance phase of gait. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation. 2009, 18:521-534.
  • Johanson MA, Greenfield BH, Greene, B, Abelew TA. An Impairment-Based Intervention for a Patient with Non-Specific Bilateral Hip Pain: Clinical and Biomechanical Outcomes. Journal of Musculoskeletal Research. 2009, 12:1-13.
  • Johanson MA, Cohen BA, Huiskens KM, McKinley AJ, Scott, ML.Outcomes for aging adults following total hip arthroplasty in an acute rehabilitation facility versus a subacute rehabilitation facility: a pilot study. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy. 2009, 32:29-34.
  • Johanson MA, Baer J, Hovermale H, Phouthavong P. Subtalar joint position during gastrocnemius stretching and ankle dorsiflexion range of motion. Journal of Athletic Training. 2008, 43:172-178.
  • Johanson MA. Sex differences in career expectations of physical therapist students. Physical Therapy.2007, 87:1199-1211.
  • Greenfield BH, Greene BL, Johanson MA. The use of qualitative research techniques in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy: moving toward postpositivism. Physical Therapy in Sport. 2007,8:44-54.
  • Johanson MA. Factors influencing students’ selection of physical therapist programs: differences between men and women and racial/ethnic groups. Journal of Physical Therapy Education.2007, 21:22-32, 2007.
  • Johanson MA, Wooden MJ, Catlin PA, Hemard L, Lott K, Romalino R, Stillman T. Effects of gastrocnemius stretching on ankle dorsiflexion and time-to-heel-off during the stance phase of gait. Physical Therapy in Sport. 2006, 7:93-100.
  • Johanson MA, Cooksey A, Hillier C, Kobbeman H, Stambaugh A. Heel lifts and the stance phase of gait in subjects with limited ankle dorsiflexion. Journal of Athletic Training. 2006, 41:159-165.
  • Johanson MA. Association of importance of the doctoral degree with students’ perceptions and their anticipated activities reflecting professionalism. Physical Therapy. 2005, 85:766-781.
  • Johanson MA. Factors influencing professional master of physical therapy and doctor of physical therapy students’ program selection. Journal of Physical Therapy Education. 2004, 8:9-21.
  • Johanson MA, Donatelli RA, Wooden MJ, Andrew PD, Cummings GS. Effects of three different posting methods on controlling abnormal subtalar pronation. Physical Therapy. 1994, 74:149-158.
  • Wooden MJ, Greenfield B, Johanson M, Litzelman L, Mundrane M, Donatelli RA. Effects of strength training on throwing velocity and shoulder muscle performance in teenage baseball players. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. 1992, 15:223-228.
  • Johanson MA. Microtrauma injuries and rehabilitation of the foot and ankle. Journal of Back and Musculosketetal Rehabilitation. 1992, 4:26-37.
  • Johanson MA. Contributing factors in microtrauma injuries of the lower extremity. Journal of Back and Musculosketetal Rehabilitation. 1992, 4:12-25.