Trudy Mackay elected to National Academy of Sciences

Date posted: August 12, 2010

Dr. Trudy F.C. Mackay, William Neal Reynolds and distinguished university professor of genetics and entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, has been elected into the National Academy of Sciences, one of the world’s most important scientific societies.

Mackay becomes the ninth current N.C. State faculty member to be elected into the august scientific society. She is one of 72 new members and 18 foreign associates elected this year.

Photo by Becky Kirkland

Dr. Trudy Mackay is the ninth current N.C. State faculty member to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Mackay studies the genetic and environmental factors affecting variation in quantitative, or complex, traits. Her groundbreaking work in the study of quantitative trait loci, or the locations in the genome where variations occur, largely focuses on the model organism Drosophila melanongaster, the fruit fly.

She currently receives funding from the National Institutes of Health to study the genetics of glaucoma, the genetics of alcohol sensitivity and the genetics of aggression.

Mackay has authored or co-authored 140 refereed publications and several books — including the principal textbook in quantitative genetics — and book chapters. She has been invited to present papers at numerous conferences, symposia and seminars.

Mackay has also served on a number of professional boards and panels. She is the chief executive editor of Genetics Research and is on the editorial board of PloS Genetics. She also served as associate editor of Genetics for 12 years. She is treasurer of the Genetics Society of America and past president of the American Genetics Association.

Mackay was named American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) fellow in 2003, received the Genetics Society of America Medal in 2004, was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005 and was named fellow of the Royal Society in 2006. She received the University of North Carolina system’s O. Max Gardner Award, its highest faculty award, in 2007. She also became a member of the New York Academy of Sciences in 2007.

Mackay received the Alumni Outstanding Research Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 2000 and has served on numerous university search and nominating committees. She has also supervised 11 Ph.D. and three master’s degree recipients at N.C. State. She is a member of AAAS, the Genetics Society of America, Sigma XI and the Society for the Study of Evolution.

A native of Canada, Mackay earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Dalhousie University and a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Edinburgh. She came to N.C. State as an associate professor in 1987 and was named full professor in 1993, William Neal Reynolds Professor in 1996 and distinguished university professor in 2006.

— NCSU News Services

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