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The University of Nevada Las Vegas may someday include a medical school. To achieve that lofty and expensive goal, Dr. Barbara Atkinson was recently appointed planning dean for UNLV’s medical school.
It's a job Atkinson is no stranger to having spent a decade running the University of Kansas medical school. During her time at Kansas, she oversaw a new campus in Salina and the expansion of the medical school in Wichita.
Both projects successfully addressed Kansas’ physician shortage. UNLV is expecting Atkinson to repeat her success in Las Vegas, but first she’ll have to raise at least $200 million to make the medical school a reality.
“We’re confident in her ability (to) develop a comprehensive vision for the UNLV School of Medicine that will serve the healthcare and workforce needs of Southern Nevadans,” said John Valery White, UNLV executive vice president and provost.
Atkinson, who is an expert in the field of pathology, focuses her research on the identification and characterization of tumor antigens in cells and tissues and to developing techniques to recognize and type tumors.
“There is no doubt we need to enhance health care capacity in Southern Nevada,” Atkinson said. But she warned it will take lawmakers, regents, accreditation and local philanthropists to make UNLV’s medical school a reality.
Barbara Atkinson, planning dean for UNLV’s School of Medicine