Welcome Back to Dr. Kathryn Atchison

Posted on: Wednesday, 03/01/2017

Kathryn AtchisonDr. Kathryn Atchison will be returning to the dental school as a full-time professor in the Division of Public Health and Community Dentistry, effective November 1, after serving UCLA as the vice provost for new collaborative initiatives from 2011 to 2016.

In her VP position, Dr. Atchison helped faculty and administrators launch novel academic and research programs, many of which cross national and disciplinary boundaries. She was instrumental in the formation of UCLA’s first foreign affiliate, the Congo Basin Institute, which is dedicated to protecting the environment and addressing critical challenges facing that region. She also served as Chancellor Block’s representative to the UCLA Russian Flagship, an initiative sponsored by the National Security Education Program to help students achieve professional-level competence in a critical language. As a result of her involvement, UCLA developed new processes that enable more undergraduates to study abroad.

“My work on behalf of the campus was exciting. It gave me insight on the multiplicity of ways in which the university can partner with other institutions, both private and public.”

Dr. Atchison also helped establish two integrated “3+2” programs at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, where students earn a bachelor’s degree at a Chinese university and a master’s degree at UCLA. Most recently, Kathryn has been working on ways to expand UCLA’s presence in downtown Los Angeles.

Between July and December 2015, Dr. Atchison was on special assignment to the Office of the Director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), where she was charged with developing strategies for strengthening NIDCR’s ability to translate research discoveries into new tools and treatment.

Prior to her position as VP for new collaborative initiatives, Kathryn served as vice provost of intellectual property and industry relations from January 2005 to June 2011. Kathryn has remained an active scholar and practitioner, and is looking forward to focusing on health literacy and health education.

“I am looking forward to a full-time return to the School of Dentistry and to immerse myself in my research and teaching. While on sabbatical I am engaged in a fascinating project for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine investigating the ways that health literacy can promote the effective integration of oral health and general health.” – Dr. Atchison