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May 13, 2024

Jackson Lab hires its first-ever chief scientific officer

Jackson Laboratory, based in Bar Harbor, has hired Mary Dickinson, a globally recognized geneticist, developmental biologist, and bioengineer, as executive vice president and chief scientific officer. 

Dickinson, first to hold the role in the 95-year history of Jackson Lab, will lead the biomedical institute's research enterprise, overseeing scientific strategy and operations.

Courtesy / Jackson Laboratory
Mary 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,” said Dickinson.

Before joining the lab, Dickinson was the senior vice president and dean of research at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

During her time, she spearheaded the institution’s research mission, leading to a 37% growth in sponsored awards. Under her guidance, Baylor received nearly $700 million in awards in 2023.

In addition to running the research and lab, she served as the co-principal investigator of the National Institutes of Health-funded Knockout Mouse Phenotyping Program, a collaboration with the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium.

Earlier in her career, she worked with companies such as Zeiss to improve imaging tools for researchers.

“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 Lon Cardon, the lab's president and CEO.

“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 has authored over 150 manuscripts, holds several patents and disclosures for new microscope technologies, and has received numerous awards. She is an elected a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, and served as the inaugural chair of the Baylor faculty senate 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.

Dickinson earned her bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University and her doctorate from Columbia University, and she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at California Institute of Technology.

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.

Of the lab's 3,000 employees, 1,700 are in Maine, working at the lab’s campuses in Bar Harbor, Ellsworth and Augusta.

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