Dr. Johnston has had a long academic career focusing on canine and feline reproduction, and she was the Founding Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences.
Dr. Johnston oversees the Found Animals’ Michelson Prize & Grants in Reproductive Biology, a $75 million endeavor to inspire qualified researchers from a variety of scientific fields to pursue the development of a low cost, nonsurgical sterilization product for cats and dogs. Such a product would help end the epidemic of companion animal euthanasia. According to the Humane Society of the United States, half of the 6-8 million pets that enter animal shelters nationally each year are euthanized.
A devoted animal advocate and professional, Dr. Johnston’s career spans more than 30 years and includes academic faculty and administrative experience in veterinary medicine, focusing on canine and feline reproductive endocrinology. She established and led the Endocrine Laboratory as well as Small Animal Reproduction Clinical Services at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota (1975-1996) and has lectured on canine and feline reproduction to more than 10,000 veterinarians on six continents. Dr. Johnston was the founding dean (1998–2007) of the 28th College of Veterinary Medicine in the United States, the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California. Prior to joining Found Animals in 2009, Dr. Johnston served as Vice President of University Advancement at Western University (2007-2009).
Dr. Johnston was educated at the University of Washington, Seattle (BS Zoology, 1967), Washington State University, Pullman (DVM, 1974), and the University of Minnesota, St. Paul (PhD, Theriogenology, 1981). She is a Diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists (ACT), the veterinary specialty board for animal reproduction and served as ACT’s first woman president.
Dr. Johnston’s honors include the Norden Award for Distinguished Teaching of Veterinary Medicine (1984, 1988), the Distinguished Service Award, Association for Women Veterinarians (1992), and the David E. Bartlett Award from ACT. She is the senior author of Johnston SD, Root Kustritz MV, Olson PNS: Canine and Feline Theriogenology, WB Saunders Co., Philadelphia, 2001.
Dr. Johnston lives in Southern California with her husband, Gary, a veterinary radiologist, and their cats Brenda, Lucy, and Billy. Their son, Gary, is a teacher in Seoul, South Korea, and their daughter, Alison, is a political economist on the faculty at Oregon State University.