Personal profile

Research interests

John Atkinson received his B.A. and M.D. degrees from the University of Kansas. His training in internal medicine was at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the National Institutes of Health. His postdoctoral research training was at the National Institutes of Health and at Washington University. At Washington University since 1976, he directed the Division of Rheumatology from 1976 to 1992 and was an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute from 1976 to 1992. He was Physician-in-Chief at Barnes Hospital and Adolphus Busch Professor and Head of John Milliken Department of Medicine from 1992 to 1997. Dr. Atkinson is currently Samuel B. Grant Professor of Medicine and holds a joint Professorship in Molecular Microbiology. He also serves as Director of the RVCL Research Center.  Retinal vasculopathy with cerebral leukoencephalopathy and systemic manifestations (RVCL-S) is an ultra-rare autosomomal dominant genetic disease that causes progressive loss of the microvasculature. The goal of his research effort is to increase our understanding of the origins of autoimmunity and to discover a treatment for RVCL. His clinical activities center on the care of patients with RVCL,complement deficiencies and immune mediated inflammatory disorders, especially SLE and vasculitic syndromes. He particularly enjoys teaching medicine, immunology, and rheumatology to medical and graduate students, house staff, and rheumatology fellows.

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