Renowned Geneticist to Speak at Iowa State University

March 12th, 2013

AMES, Iowa -- Trudy Mackay, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the William Neal Reynolds and Distinguished University Professor of Genetics and Entomology at North Carolina State University, will be the featured speaker March 27 at the spring symposium of the Center for Integrated Animal Genomics at Iowa State University.

Mackay is known internationally for her groundbreaking genetic research and creation of the Drosophila Genetics Reference Panel (DGRP) published in 2012, which describes all genetic factors that affect a fruit fly's inherited traits. Due to genetic parallels between fruit flies and humans, lessons learned on the fruit fly often can be applied to human health.

Mackay's presentation will begin at 1:10 p.m. in 1204 Kildee Hall. The symposium is free, but registration is required by March 15 by completing the form at:

The DGRP, developed by Mackay and her colleagues, helps researchers more efficiently study the cause and evolution of quantitative traits like aggression in humans and other animals. Other examples of quantitative traits include longevity, stress tolerance, sleep duration and alcohol sensitivity.

Mackay will discuss some of her research findings and implications of the Drosophila data for genotype-phenotype mapping of complex traits in other species, including humans.

Mackay earned a doctorate in genetics from the University of Edinburgh and was a postdoctoral scholar at Dalhousie University before joining North Carolina State University's Department of Genetics in 1987. Mackay also is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her awards include the Genetics Society of America Medal, the North Carolina Award for Science and the O. Max Gardner Award, the highest award given by the 16-campus University of North Carolina system to recognize an individual "who has made the greatest contributions to the welfare of the human race."


Trudy Mackay, Genetics, North Carolina State University, (919) 515-5810,
Ed Adcock, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communication Service, (515) 294-2314,