Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

April 4, 2013 Volume 34, No. 25

Veterinary medicine professor honored for her research

Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction

Rebecca Johnson, a professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine and director of Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction, has been elected to the National Academies of Practice (NAP) and the Veterinary Medicine Academy (VMA) as a distinguished scholar and fellow. 

“As a member of the NAP-Veterinary Medicine, it will be my privilege to help this wonderful organization continue to move the importance of the human-animal bond to the forefront with policy-makers nationally,” Johnson said.

The NAP was founded in 1981 to advise Congress in health care practice and delivery. The academy is made up of 10 interdisciplinary organizations: dentistry, medicine, nursing, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, podiatric medicine, psychology, social work and veterinary medicine. 

NAP fellows are considered among the most distinguished in their fields and are chosen only after a rigorous selection process. Membership is limited in order to maintain the highest academic standards, according to a news release.

Johnson established the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction (ReCHAI) in 2005. Her externally funded program of research and community projects merges her work on wellness and relocation of the elderly, assistance of war veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder and prisoners with the benefits of human-companion animal interaction. 

Her research suggests that companion animals provide a unique source of social support and facilitate motivation for exercise and other wellness-promoting behaviors.

Johnson’s studies have received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Missouri Foundation for Health, the Waltham Foundation, Pedigree Foundation, the Banfield Charitable Trust, and Mizzou Advantage One’s Health/One Medicine, an initiative that facilitates collaborative research in human and animal health.