Dr. Mary Dickinson has begun her new role as vice president and dean of research at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dickinson served as associate dean of research for the past two years. She will maintain her successful research program where she leads the Knockout Mouse Project and studies the genetic and mechanical influences on early cardiovascular development.

Dickinson succeeds Dr. Adam Kuspa, who was announced as the new president of the Welch Foundation on Monday. Kuspa had overseen the research enterprise at Baylor for nine years and served on the faculty and in leadership roles for 26 years.

“Dr. Dickinson has shown exceptional leadership skills,” said Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean at Baylor. “She has been a great mentor to faculty and trainees and has provided tremendous support for faculty in obtaining grants. She will be an outstanding leader and will continue to advance the prominence of our research programs.”

The research mission at Baylor consistently ranks high in National Institutes of Health funding and is internationally recognized in many areas.

Dickinson will oversee Baylor’s strategic vision for research, which is to apply biomedical discoveries to drive novel therapeutic approaches.

“I could not be more proud to serve in this role, representing such outstanding and accomplished researchers,” Dickinson said.

Dickinson received a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University, a Ph.D. from Columbia University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at California Institute of Technology. She was recruited to Baylor in 2005. She was the inaugural chair of the Faculty Senate and is a member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Cardiovascular Research Institute.

The Dickinson Lab focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying congenital birth defects and the genetic basis for disease. She is a professor in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics. She holds the Kyle and Josephine Morrow Endowed Chair.