Simon Atkinson PhD

Interim President, KUCTC
Primary office:


Simon Atkinson is the Vice Chancellor for Research and a professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Kansas.

In addition to leading the KU Office of Research, he advocates for research on and off campus, implements research integrity requirements and, through the KU Center for Research (KUCR), oversees the administration of research grants and contracts primarily for the Lawrence campus. Atkinson also has oversight of activities related to technology commercialization and business and industry outreach. The vice chancellor reports to the provost and executive vice chancellor and works closely with the chancellor and the senior leadership team at KU.

An internationally respected researcher, he studies acute kidney injury with the goal of developing strategies to prevent or treat kidney injuries that can be caused by heart failure, cardiac surgery, toxins and contrast agents administered for diagnostic tests. Atkinson was a co-founder of INphoton, a life sciences startup company established in 2005, and he is involved with the startup Rene Medical Inc., established in 2014. These experiences will be particularly relevant in his role supporting the continued growth and development of the KU Center for Technology Commercialization (KUCTC).

Atkinson has a doctorate in molecular biology from the University of Cambridge and a bachelor’s degree in cell and molecular biology from King’s College London. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Prior to joining the University of Kansas, he served as vice chancellor for research at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis and associate vice president for research for Indiana University, with systemwide responsibility for innovation and commercialization. Atkinson was also a chancellor's professor at IUPUI as well as a professor of biology in the School of Science and an adjunct professor of medicine and of biochemistry and molecular biology. He joined the faculty at Indiana University in 1994, when he became an assistant professor at the School of Medicine, and from 2010 to 2015 served as chair of the Department of Biology in the School of Science at IUPUI. From 2004 to 2010, he was director of the interdisciplinary graduate program in medical biophysics in the IU School of Medicine. He has been a visiting professor at Indiana State University, Eastern Michigan University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame.

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