Atkinson named medical school planning dean 


Dr. Barbara Atkinson has been appointed as the planning dean for the UNLV School of Medicine starting May 19.

Atkinson will be expected to develop a vision for the university, as well as oversee preliminary academic planning and fundraising and establish a community advisory committee in order to align regional needs with the school’s mission.



An expert in the field of Pathology, Atkinson researches identifying and characterizing tumor antigens in cells and tissues and developing techniques to recognize and type tumors.

She was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1997 and appointed to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues by President Barack Obama in 2011.

Atkinson was heavily involved in the University of Kansas’ School of Medicine from 2002 to 2012. During her time as emeritus vice chancellor and professor at the university, she aided in the establishment of state-of-the-art research and medical office buildings on campus, as well as increased funding for research.

She has held faculty appointments focused on planning and operating with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine, MCP Hahnemann University and Allegheny University of the Health Sciences.

UNLV Executive Vice President and Provost John Valery White said he is confident that Atkinson will be able to develop a vision for the UNLV School of Medicine that will improve the health care and workforce needs of Southern Nevadans.

A Memorandum of Understanding was reached between UNLV, the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), the University of Nevada School of Medicine, and UNR in November 2013 to expand public medical education in Southern Nevada.

NSHE is planning to found an independent UNLV School of Medicine and expand the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Reno.

A budget for medical education in Nevada will be submitted to state legislators during the 2015 Nevada Legislative Session.

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