Michael Johns III, MD

Michael Johns III, MD

Michael Johns III, MD, who started practicing at Emory in 2003, is Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Emory University School of Medicine, and Director of the Emory Voice Center.


Otolaryngology (ENT) (Board certified since 2003)

Areas of Expertise

  • Voice disorders
  • Swallowing Disorders
  • Airway stenosis
  • Botox (botulinum toxin) therapy for voice disorders
  • Laryngeal Videostroboscopy
  • Laryngeal Microsurgery
  • Awake Vocal Cord Injection
  • Awake KTP Laser Laryngeal Surgery

Groundbreaking Research and Clinical Trials

Dr. Johns’ research focuses on awake vocal cord injections to restore voice and awake laser procedures for the voice.

Dr. Johns is founder and director of the Emory Voice Center. He developed and now directs a multidisciplinary center for comprehensive care of patients with voice disorders that is novel to Emory Healthcare and the Atlanta metropolitan area. Founded in 2003, this center has become one of the premier specialty clinics of its kind in the nation, and is a recognized center of excellence for its academic endeavors. The center has grown to an eight-clinician multispecialty clinic with strong research and innovative teaching programs. More than 3,000 patients are treated annually by the physicians and speech pathologists at the Voice Center. The first of its kind specialty specific speech language pathology fellowship was founded in 2004 and has been ongoing for the past six years. In 2009, a fellowship in voice disorders for otolaryngologists was started and has received instant interest filling in its first year. The members of the Voice Center have produced more than 100 publications and have received six extramural grants. It has been viewed as a model for multidisciplinary academic center development for Emory University at the Midtown Campus.

The focus of Dr. Johns’ research interests lies in two major lines of investigation. The first is in the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of age-related and other voice disorders. Funded research efforts in the lab have focused on rejuvenation of the aging larynx. He has established a novel murine model for the aging larynx, which has facilitated study of the use of stem cells and growth factors to alter tissue changes occurring in the aging mouse larynx. The second line of investigation has focused on physician burnout in Otolaryngology. Research in this critically important area has identified the prevalence of burnout and key factors associated with the development of burnout.

The Road to Emory: Education

  • Medical School: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 1996
  • Internship: University of Michigan Health Center, Ann Arbor, MI, 1997
  • Residency: University of Michigan Health Center, Ann Arbor, MI, 2002
  • Fellowship: Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, 2003


  • Alpha Omega Alpha
  • American Academy of Otolaryngology
  • American Medical Association
  • Voice Foundation


  • Alpha Omega Alpha, awarded to the highest graduating members of a medical school class.
  • Merle Lawrence Resident Research Prize, 2001, awarded by the Department of Otolaryngology for outstanding research - Motion specific laryngeal reinnervation.
  • UM Plastic Surg Div Resident Research Prize, 2000. Awarded for outstanding research - Muscle-nerve-muscle neurotization in unilateral vocal fold paralysis.

Major or Recent Publications

  • Rosen CA, Amin MR, Sulica L, Simpson CB, Merati AL, Courey MS, Johns MM 3rd, Postma GN. Advances in office-based diagnosis and treatment in laryngology. Laryngoscope. 2009 Nov;119 Suppl 2:S185-212.
  • Venkatesan NN, Johns MM, Hapner ER, DelGaudio JM. Abductor paralysis after botox injection for adductor spasmodic dysphonia. Laryngoscope. 2010 Jun;120(6):1177-80.
  • Li AJ, Johns MM, Jackson-Menaldi C, Dailey S, Heman-Ackah Y, Merati A, RubinAD. Glottic Closure Patterns: Type I Thyroplasty Versus Type I Thyroplasty With Arytenoid Adduction. J Voice. 2010 Mar 22.
  • Kolachala VL, Henriquez OA, Shams S, Golub JS, Kim YT, Laroui H, Torres-Gonzalez E, Brigham KL, Rojas M, Bellamkonda RV, Johns MM. Slow-release nanoparticle-encapsulated delivery system for laryngeal injection. Laryngoscope. 2010 May;120(5):988-94.
  • Kolachala VL, Torres-Gonzalez E, Mwangi S, Kelly P, Brigham KL, Pavlath GK, Rojas M, Johns MM. A senescence accelerated mouse model to study aging in the larynx. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Jun;142(6):879-85.
  • Beitler JJ, Muller S, Grist WJ, Corey A, Klein AM, Johns MM, Perkins CL, Davis LW, Udayasanker U, Landry JC, Shin DM, Hudgins PA. Prognostic accuracy of computed tomography findings for patients with laryngeal cancer undergoing laryngectomy. J Clin Oncol. 2010 May 10;28(14):2318-22. Epub 2010 Apr 5.


Dr. Johns is avid music fan. He prefers alternative rock and folk music, but listens to all genres.  Outside of work, you may find him tinkering with the latest in Apple technology, on the golf course, or playing with his three children.