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University of Alberta, Antarctic Institute of Canada

John Christy Johnson

John is an MD student and an MSc Biomedical Engineering candidate at the University of Alberta. He is a writer and program officer for the Antarctic Institute of Canada and helped found the organization's $2 million COVID-19 Literacy program, which has been rebranded to the “Sharpen the Quill” national internship program. John's work predominantly aims to assist those struggling with disabilities and mental illness and has resulted in the creation of two researched-based social enterprises. His work has produced a patented Fitbit-like device used to remotely monitor health data to ease telemedicine visits during the pandemic. For disabled scientists, veterans, students, athletes and artists who have set their sites on a journey far beyond their own communities, John has also been a part of Mission Astro:Access, an international effort to expand the scope of accessibility into space by identifying candidates for a historic parabolic flight where they will experience weightlessness as they carry out experiments and observations in conditions simulating lunar and zero gravity. In doing so, researchers can identify what modifications would be necessary to facilitate space travel for the disabled. John was named Alberta's Top 30 under 30 in 2019, Stars of Alberta Volunteer in 2021, and Edify Edmonton Edifier Award, the Ascend Canada Student Leader Award, and received the Diana Award in 2022.

Research projects / interests:

  • Doomsday archives in the North
  • Spread of infectious disease in the North
  • Prosthesis systems for patients with stroke
  • Wheelchair trainer for patients with cerebral palsy
  • Improving accessibility for people with disability to outer space

For publications visit: John's Academia page

To get in touch: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Areas of interest: 

  • Polar Governance
  • Tourism
  • Humanities
  • Literature
  • Antarctic Treaty System
  • History
  • Environmental Management
  • Polar Policy
  • Geopolitics
  • Human Geography
  • Music
  • Architecture
  • Anthropology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Environment
  • Values

Keywords: disability, accessibility, technology, space medicine