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John P. Atkinson, MD

John P. Atkinson, MD, is the Samuel B. Grant Professor of Medicine and professor of molecular microbiology. He is an internationally recognized rheumatologist and immunologist. He has received local and national awards for his teaching. His colleagues regard him as an invaluable source of diagnostic expertise and clinical advice and often turn to him for input on particularly complex cases.

Atkinson received his MD from the University of Kansas and served his internship and residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital. After a three-year fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), he came to Washington University in 1974 as a postdoctoral fellow. In 1976 he was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and chief of the Division of Rheumatology. In 1992 he became Busch Professor and Chairman of Medicine and physician-in-chief at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He is currently interim chief of the Division of Rheumatology.

Atkinson’s research interests focus on innate immunity, especially the role played by the complement system in human disease. He also has played a guiding role in discovering a disease (cerebral retinal vasculopathy) and in identifying its genetic basis.

Atkinson has held leadership roles at the National Arthritis Foundation, American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and NIH. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers. He has received the Arthritis Foundation’s Lee C. Howley Senior Prize for Arthritis Research and Leon Neuman Distinguished Service Award, and the ACR Investigator of the Year Award. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Published: 03/23/2008