Jan Atkinson gained her Ph.D in Cambridge University for research using afterimages to probe cortical pattern vision. Following a postdoctoral period in Johns Hopkins she returned to Cambridge working with Professor Fergus Campbell on the neural basis of monocular rivalry and subitizing in numerosity judgements . She co-founded with Oliver Braddick the MRC-supported Visual Development Unit in Cambridge (continuing in UCL and Oxford University), a pioneering international interdisciplinary team, bringing new insights and techniques from vision science to understanding and assessing typical and atypical infant brain development. She has led the VDU team in vanguard research on development of contrast sensitivity, acuity, binocularity, refraction and selective attention in young infants. She has developed neurobiological models of typical visual brain development and applied these in translational research to a range of clinical conditions including cerebral palsy, cerebral visual impairment following preterm birth and perinatal brain damage and visual development in children with Williams syndrome. Recently, her work has established the concept of dorsal stream vulnerability as a common factor in many neurodevelopmental disorders. She is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2004) and the Academia Europaea (2008) and was jointly awarded the Kurt Koffka Medal in the University of Giessen (2009). She has over 300 scientific publications.