Daniel Johnson

Daniel Johnson

Morrison Intern

Hometown: Shoreview, MN
Education: Carleton College (Northfield, MN)
MD Mentors: Kevin Harris and Jay Traverse
Staff Mentors: Kari Thomas and Sarah Dennis
Projects: Natural History of Mild and Moderate Ascending Aorta Enlargement: Prevalence, Subsequent Imaging and Long‐term Risks; OPTIMIST: Long‐term Follow‐up Calls

Daniel Johnson of Shoreview, Minnesota is entering his senior year at Carleton College.  When Daniel was nine, his father was diagnosed with cancer.  “Throughout his chemotherapy and radiation, I admired how his physicians provided him with comfort and care, which made it easier for my entire family to cope. He passed away when I was thirteen, and ever since, I have wanted to become a physician so that I can care for others in the same way his physicians cared for him.”  Daniel is interested in pursuing a medical career in the fields of cardiology, ophthalmology, hematology, or oncology. 

Daniel was intrigued by a summer research internship at MHIF because of the positive conversations he had with previous interns, the numerous field trip opportunities made available and gaining access to shadowing established cardiologists.  Additionally, Daniel is looking forward to refining his presentation skills.

Throughout the duration of this research internship, Daniel will be contributing to multiple studies.  The first being: Natural History of Mild and Moderate Ascending Aorta Enlargement: Prevalence, Subsequent Imaging and Long‐term Risks.  This study pertains to aortic dilation, or the widening of the aorta, which is a risk factor for acute aortic dissection- a cardiac emergency with a high mortality rate.  In addition, this research will be examining the surveillance testing of qualified patients and the various cardiac outcomes associated with different aortic enlargement rates.  The goal is to quantify the population of patients with a dilated aorta and determine the aortic enlargement rate in this population.  This research will be overseen by Dr. Kevin Harris and staff mentor Kari Thomas.  Daniel will also be involved in the study- OPTIMIST: Long‐term Follow‐up Calls.  In this study, Daniel will be responsible for maintaining the options in myocardial ischemic syndrome therapy (OPTIMIST) long-term follow-up database of patients with refractory coronary artery diseases who are ineligible for revascularization interventions.  Dr. Jay Traverse and Sarah Dennis will be mentoring Daniel for this study.

After this summer, Daniel will be returning to Carleton for his senior year.  Upon graduation, he plans on taking a gap year to apply to medical school and to work as a research assistant or medical scribe during this transition.  Daniel hopes to conduct more research and to gain further experience in the public health sector.  For Daniel, this internship “has not only reaffirmed my desire to become a physician, but has also shown me that a career in medicine can take many different forms, some of which I was not even aware of before this summer.”


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 Daniel Johnson
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The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) strives to create a world without heart and vascular disease. To achieve this bold vision, we are dedicated to improving the cardiovascular health of individuals and communities through innovative research and education.

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