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Simon Atkinson appointed IUPUI vice chancellor for research

For Immediate Release May 8, 2017
Simon Atkinson
Simon Atkinson.

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar has announced the appointment of Simon Atkinson as vice chancellor for research, effective July 1.

Atkinson, Chancellor’s Professor and professor of biology in the School of Science at IUPUI since 2010, has served as IUPUI’s interim vice chancellor for research since August 2015. He also holds adjunct appointments in the Indiana University School of Medicine Division of Nephrology and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 

Atkinson is a cell biologist specializing in research on kidney diseases. His background spans science, medicine and business. His interactions extend beyond his core research on the kidney, including numerous scientific collaborations with investigators across campus, especially in the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research at the IU School of Medicine.

“I am delighted that Simon will continue to guide IUPUI’s research office,” Paydar said. “His expertise, extensive leadership experience, and outstanding accomplishments in research and education greatly benefit the campus community and beyond. He will keep us on track to implement IUPUI’s strategic priorities that expand research and creative activity.”

Atkinson first joined Indiana University in 1994 as an assistant professor in the Division of Nephrology at the School of Medicine. He served as graduate advisor and director of the Ph.D. program in biomolecular imaging and biophysics from 2004 to 2010. He served as chair of the Department of Biology in the School of Science at IUPUI from 2010 to 2015.

In recent years, Atkinson’s research team has focused on efforts to understand and treat acute kidney injury, a common and life-threatening complication in seriously ill patients, using state-of-the-art methods including multiphoton microscopy, RNA interference and gene therapy. 

Atkinson is also a biomedical entrepreneur. He co-founded INphoton – a customized, proprietary company that provided microscopy services and consulting for pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the preclinical phase of drug discovery and development. He and other IU investigators also developed the technology used by Rene Medical Inc., a startup medical device company that targets the treatment and prevention of acute kidney injury.

Atkinson’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and has garnered foundation and industry support. He has also held leadership roles with the American Society for Cell Biology.

“Chancellor Paydar has set ambitious goals for our researchers, and I’m committed to seeing the campus recognized as one of the leading research institutions in the nation,” Atkinson said. “My colleagues in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research are doing exceptional work to help realize the tremendous research potential at IUPUI. I look forward to continuing my association with them.”

Atkinson earned his B.Sc. in cell and molecular biology from King’s College London and his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Cambridge in England. He also served a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Atkinson will serve as vice chancellor for up to four years.

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