Prof. Dr. Michael John Atkinson


Institute of Radiation Biology
Professor emeritus since November 1, 2020

Academic Career and Research Areas

The primary focus of the research of Professor Atkinson (b. 1955) is on understanding the biological consequences of radiation with low doses of ionizing radiation and the improvement of the efficacy of radiation therapy in cancer.

After studying life sciences, Professor Atkinson completed his PhD at the University of Aston in Birmingham (UK). This then led to postdoctoral positions at Hanover Medical School (MHH), Harvard Medical School, Max-Planck-Institute in Hanover and GSF (now Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Centre for Environmental Health). He acquired his postdoctoral teaching qualification (habilitation) in 1999 at the TUM School of Medicine. Since 2007 he has been director of the Institute for Radiation Biology at Helmholtz Zentrum München.


  • Weiss Medal, Association for Radiation Research (2014)
  • Member of the Commission on Radiological Protection (2007-2012)
  • Von-Recklinghausen Prize, German Society for Endocrinology (1989)
  • Fellowship Boehringer Ingelheim Fond (1984)

Yentrapalli R, Merl-Pham J, Azimzadeh O, Mutschelknaus L, Peters C; ...: "Quantitative changes in the protein and miRNA cargo of plasma exosome-like vesicles after exposure to ionizing radiation". International journal of radiation biology. 2017; 93(6): 569-580.


Gonzalez-Vasconcellos I, Schneider R, Anastasov N, Alonso-Rodriguez S, ... : "The Rb1 tumour suppressor gene modifies telomeric chromatin architecture by regulating TERRA expression". Scientific reports. 2017; 7: 42056.


Anastasov N, Höfig I, Radulović V, Ströbel S, Salomon M, Lichtenberg J, ...: "A 3D-microtissue-based phenotypic screening of radiation resistant tumor cells with synchronized chemotherapeutic treatment". BMC cancer. 2015; 15(1): 466.


O’Leary VB, Ovsepian SV, Carrascosa LG, Buske FA, Radulovic V, ... : "PARTICLE, a triplex-forming long ncRNA, regulates locus-specific methylation in response to low-dose irradiation". Cell reports. 2015; 11(3): 474-485.


SJ Kempf, S Moertl, S Sepe, C Von Toerne, SM Hauck, MJ Atkinson, ... : "Low-dose ionizing radiation rapidly affects mitochondrial and synaptic signaling pathways in murine hippocampus and cortex". Journal of proteome research. 2015; 14(5): 2055-2064.