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The Jackson Laboratory appoints Mary Dickinson as chief scientific officer

Dickinson’s research background coupled with her successful executive leadership at one of the largest, most complex medical schools will help drive major initiatives and research priorities at a time of rapid growth

BAR HARBOR, Maine, May 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Mary Dickinson, Ph.D., an internationally recognized geneticist, developmental biologist and bioengineer who has pioneered the understanding of human disease through advanced imaging technology, has joined The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) as the inaugural executive vice president and chief scientific officer. Dickinson will lead JAX’s research enterprise, overseeing scientific strategy and operations to build on JAX’s unique strengths in genetics and genomics.

“I’m exceedingly confident that Mary’s broad leadership experience supporting basic science, translational research, innovation and commercialization at a premier medical school will help take JAX to new heights,” said JAX president and CEO Lon Cardon, Ph.D., FMedSci. “With this critical appointment of our chief scientific officer, our team is well-poised to lead major advances on our strategic plan and research priorities in 2024 and beyond.”

Dickinson’s connection with JAX runs deep, rooted in her lifelong immersion in the genetics community and her longstanding history of collaboration with JAX faculty and researchers. With extensive, highly recognized research using mice to study cardiovascular disease, particularly congenital birth defects, Dickinson has a profound appreciation of the JAX mission to improve human health and is an enduring champion of rare disease research.

“JAX has long been known as a world leader in research innovation, genetic mechanisms and models for disease,” said Dickinson. “JAX is far and away distinct from so many institutions in this space, but at the same time integrated within the biomedical community in a way that’s really unique for an organization, bridging these communities and advancing precise genomic solutions for disease treatments and cures worldwide.”

With a global outlook, Dickinson recognizes the powerful role JAX plays in empowering the biomedical community to accelerate discovery for diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and addiction. “JAX wants to help people make a difference for as many people as possible, from those in rural Maine to Tokyo,” said Dickinson. “There are not many places really positioned to do this and be in their truth about it. I’m thrilled and so proud to be joining JAX, especially at such a pivotal time for research.”

Dickinson comes to JAX from Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) where she most recently served as the senior vice president and dean of research. At the helm of Baylor’s research mission for the last four years, Dickinson partnered with nearly 30 chairs and center directors at one of the largest and most complex medical schools to achieve a 37% growth in sponsored awards. Under her leadership, Baylor saw nearly $700 million in awards in 2023. 

In addition to running a thriving research program and lab, Dickinson served as the co-principal investigator of the renowned NIH-funded Knockout Mouse Phenotyping Program (KOMP), a collaboration with the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium with sites at JAX, BCM, and University of California, Davis. She brought invaluable expertise to KOMP, particularly by advancing imaging technology to expand the ability to capture high-resolution data driving early-stage organ development and providing critical insights into the regulatory networks that govern these events. Earlier in her career, she also worked with companies such as Zeiss to improve imaging tools for researchers—work that enabled her team to discover that mechanical forces can regulate genetic programs thought only to be controlled by cell-to-cell signaling.

Dickinson earned her bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University, doctorate from Columbia University and carried out her post-doctoral fellowship at California Institute of Technology. Dickinson has authored more than 150 manuscripts, holds several patents and disclosures for new microscope technologies, and has received numerous awards. She was appointed as the Kyle and Josephine Morrow Endowed Chair in 2014, was elected a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, and served as the inaugural chair of the faculty senate at Baylor when it was formed in 2015. She became the associate dean for research in 2017 and dean for research in 2019. In 2023, she was elected to the Society for Developmental Biology Academy and received the Orbus Pictus award from the International Society for Transgenic Technology. Most recently, she was recognized with the lifetime honor of being elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

About The Jackson Laboratory
The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution with a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center and more than 3,000 employees in locations across the United States, Japan and China. Its mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and to empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health. For more information, please visit www.jax.org.

SOURCE The Jackson Laboratory

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-jackson-laboratory-appoints-mary-dickinson-as-chief-scientific-officer-302142617.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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