Trudy Mackay

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Trudy Mackay

Trudy Frances Charlene Mackay

(1952-09-10) September 10, 1952 (age 69) [1]
Known for Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel
Robert R. H. Anholt
(m. 1990)
Scientific career
Fields Quantitative genetics
Institutions North Carolina State University Clemson University
Thesis Genetic variation in varying environments  (1979)
Doctoral advisor Alan Robertson [3]

Trudy Frances Charlene Mackay FRS (born 10 September 1952) [1] is the director of Clemson University's Center for Human Genetics [4] located on the campus of the Greenwood (S.C.) Genetic Center. [5] She is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on the genetics of complex traits. Mackay is also the Self Family Chair in Human Genetics and Professor of Genetics and Biochemistry [6] at Clemson University. [7]


Mackay is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (2010). [8]

Mackay was formerly the William Neal Reynolds and Distinguished University Professor at North Carolina State University, [9] [10] [11] where she specialized in quantitative genetics. [12] [13] [14] She is responsible for establishing the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel. [15]


Mackay received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1974 and Master of Science degree in 1976 in Biology from Dalhousie University. [1] She completed postgraduate study at the University of Edinburgh with a PhD in genetics awarded in 1979 for research supervised by Alan Robertson. [3] [16]

Career and research

Mackay's research investigates the environmental and genetic factors that influence quantitative traits. [17] These phenotypic traits include height or weight and are represented by continuous, rather than discrete, values. [17] Her work is undertaken by studying the impact of natural variants and mutations on many behavioural, morphological, physiological and life history traits in fruit flies, which she uses as a model organism. [17]

The broad importance of such traits gives Mackay's work potential application in many areas — from improving plant breeding and animal breeding to the treatment of human diseases. [17] Mackay is the co-author with Douglas Scott Falconer of the fourth edition of the widely used and highly cited textbook, Introduction to Quantitative Genetics, published in 1996. [18]

Awards and honours

Mackay was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2006. [17] She was awarded the Genetics Society of America Medal in 2004 [19] and the Wolf Prize in Agriculture in 2016. [2] She was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2021. [20] She is a recipient of Trinity College’s Dawson Prize in Genetics in 2018. [21] She was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2003. [22] She became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005. [23]

Personal life

Mackay married Robert R. H. Anholt in 1990. [1]

Related Research Articles

Heritability Estimation of effect of genetic variation on phenotypic variation of a trait

Heritability is a statistic used in the fields of breeding and genetics that estimates the degree of variation in a phenotypic trait in a population that is due to genetic variation between individuals in that population. It measures how much of the variation of a trait can be attributed to variation of genetic factors, as opposed to variation of environmental factors. The concept of heritability can be expressed in the form of the following question: "What is the proportion of the variation in a given trait within a population that is not explained by the environment or random chance?"

Genetic architecture is the underlying genetic basis of a phenotypic trait and its variational properties. Phenotypic variation for quantitative traits is, at the most basic level, the result of the segregation of alleles at quantitative trait loci (QTL). Environmental factors and other external influences can also play a role in phenotypic variation. Genetic architecture is a broad term that can be described for any given individual based on information regarding gene and allele number, the distribution of allelic and mutational effects, and patterns of pleiotropy, dominance, and epistasis.

Deborah Charlesworth is a population geneticist from the UK, notable for her important discoveries in population genetics and evolutionary biology. Her most notable research is in understanding the evolution of recombination, sex chromosomes and mating system for plants.

Douglas Scott Falconer was a Scottish geneticist known for his work in quantitative genetics. Falconer's book Introduction to quantitative genetics was written in 1960 and became a valuable reference for generations of scientists. Its latest edition dates back to 1996 and is coauthored by Trudy Mackay.

Alan Robertson (geneticist)

Alan Robertson was an English population geneticist. Originally a chemist, he was recruited after the Second World War to work on animal genetics on behalf of the British government, and continued in this sphere until his retirement in 1985. He was a major influence in the widespread adoption of artificial insemination of cattle.

William George Hill was an English geneticist and statistician. He is professor emeritus at University of Edinburgh since his retirement in 2002. He is credited as co-discoverer of the Hill–Robertson effect with his doctoral advisor, Alan Robertson.

A recombinant inbred strain is an organism with chromosomes that incorporate an essentially permanent set of recombination events between chromosomes inherited from two or more inbred strains. F1 and F2 generations are produced by intercrossing the inbred strains; pairs of the F2 progeny are then mated to establish inbred strains through long-term inbreeding.

Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) is a suite of Drosophila melanogaster lines derived from an out-crossed population in Raleigh, North Carolina. The founders of these lineages were collected from the Raleigh State Farmer's Market 35.764254°N 78.662935°W. The suite consists of 205 fully sequenced lines which have been inbred to near homozygosity. The primary goal of the DGRP is to provide a common set of strain for quantitative genetics research in Drosophila. Each researcher who uses the lines from the DGRP will have access to other researchers' data, which will be stored in a publicly available database. This allows for analyses to be performed across studies without having to worry about complications arising from different labs using genomically different lines of fruit flies.

Jonathan Alan Hodgkin is a British biochemist, Professor of Genetics at the University of Oxford, and an emeritus fellow of Keble College, Oxford.

Elizabeth Robertson British geneticist

Elizabeth Jane Robertson is a British developmental biologist based at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford. She is Professor of Developmental Biology at Oxford and a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow. She is best known for her pioneering work in developmental genetics, showing that genetic mutations could be introduced into the mouse germ line by using genetically altered embryonic stem cells. This discovery opened up a major field of experimentation for biologists and clinicians.

Liam Dolan

Liam Dolan is the Sherardian Professor of Botany in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford.

Peter Keightley

Peter D. Keightley FRS is Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in School of Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.

Mendelian traits behave according to the model of monogenic or simple gene inheritance in which one gene corresponds to one trait. Discrete traits with simple Mendelian inheritance patterns are relatively rare in nature, and many of the clearest examples in humans cause disorders. Discrete traits found in humans are common examples for teaching genetics.

Michael Goddard

Michael Edward "Mike" Goddard is a professorial fellow in animal genetics at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Josephine Pemberton British evolutionary biologist

Josephine M. Pemberton is a British evolutionary biologist. She is Chair of Natural History at the University of Edinburgh, where she conducts research in parentage analysis, pedigree reconstruction, inbreeding depression, parasite resistance, and quantitative trait locus (QTL) detection in natural populations. She has worked primarily on long-term studies of soay sheep on St Kilda, and red deer on the island of Rùm.

Anne Ferguson-Smith Mammalian developmental geneticist

Anne Carla Ferguson-Smith is a mammalian developmental geneticist. She is the Arthur Balfour Professor of Genetics, Head of the Department of Genetics at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge.

Jonathan Flint is a British behavior geneticist and Professor in Residence in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is also a senior scientist in the Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics at UCLA's Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.

Silvia Paracchini FRSE is a geneticist who researches the contribution of genetic variation to neurodevelopmental traits such as dyslexia and human handedness.

Matthew Edward Hurles is head of human genetics at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and an honorary professor of Human Genetics and Genomics at the University of Cambridge.

Richard M. Harland is CH Li Distinguished Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development at the University of California, Berkeley.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Anon (2017). "Mackay, Trudy Frances Charlene, (Mrs R. R. H. Anholt)" . Who's Who . (online Oxford University Press  ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.151464.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)(subscription required)
  2. 1 2 Maguire, Marti (February 6, 2016). "Tar Heel: Trudy Mackay works with fruit flies to solve genetic mysteries". The News & Observer. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  3. 1 2 Mackay, Trudy Frances Charlene (1979). Genetic variation in varying environments (PhD thesis). University of Edinburgh. hdl:1842/11082. OCLC   757072704. EThOS Lock-green.svg
  4. "Renowned scientist named director of Clemson's Center for Human Genetics". Newsstand | Clemson University News and Stories, South Carolina. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  5. "The Greenwood Genetic Center". Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  6. "Salute to Faculty Excellence | College of Science, Clemson University, South Carolina". Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  7. "Clemson University, South Carolina". Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  8., National Academy of Sciences -. "Trudy Mackay". Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  9. "Mackay Homepage". Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-07-21. Faculty webpage
  10. Mackay, Trudy (2006). "Trudy Mackay". Current Biology . 16 (17): R659–R661. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2006.08.016 . ISSN   0960-9822. PMID   16991214. Lock-green.svg
  11. "NC State: Trudy Mackay". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21.
  12. Mackay, Trudy F. C.; Stone, Eric A.; Ayroles, Julien F. (2009). "The genetics of quantitative traits: challenges and prospects". Nature Reviews Genetics . 10 (8): 565–577. doi:10.1038/nrg2612. ISSN   1471-0056. PMID   19584810. S2CID   1431889. Closed Access logo transparent.svg
  13. Mackay, Trudy F. C. (2001). "The Genetic Architecture of Quantitative Traits". Annual Review of Genetics . 35 (1): 303–339. doi:10.1146/annurev.genet.35.102401.090633. ISSN   0066-4197. PMID   11700286. Closed Access logo transparent.svg
  14. Manolio, Teri A.; Collins, Francis S.; Cox, Nancy J.; Goldstein, David B.; Hindorff, Lucia A.; Hunter, David J.; McCarthy, Mark I.; Ramos, Erin M.; Cardon, Lon R.; Chakravarti, Aravinda; Cho, Judy H.; Guttmacher, Alan E.; Kong, Augustine; Kruglyak, Leonid; Mardis, Elaine; Rotimi, Charles N.; Slatkin, Montgomery; Valle, David; Whittemore, Alice S.; Boehnke, Michael; Clark, Andrew G.; Eichler, Evan E.; Gibson, Greg; Haines, Jonathan L.; Mackay, Trudy F. C.; McCarroll, Steven A.; Visscher, Peter M. (2009). "Finding the missing heritability of complex diseases". Nature . 461 (7265): 747–753. Bibcode:2009Natur.461..747M. doi:10.1038/nature08494. ISSN   0028-0836. PMC   2831613 . PMID   19812666.
  15. Mackay, Trudy F. C.; Richards, Stephen; Stone, Eric A.; Barbadilla, Antonio; Ayroles, Julien F.; Zhu, Dianhui; Casillas, Sònia; Han, Yi; Magwire, Michael M.; Cridland, Julie M.; Richardson, Mark F.; et al. (2012). "The Drosophila melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel". Nature. 482 (7384): 173–178. Bibcode:2012Natur.482..173M. doi:10.1038/nature10811. ISSN   0028-0836. PMC   3683990 . PMID   22318601.
  16. "Trudy Mackay CV" (PDF).
  17. 1 2 3 4 5 Anon (2006). "Professor Trudy Mackay FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:
    “All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” -- "Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on 2016-11-11. Retrieved 2016-03-09.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  18. Falconer, Douglas; Mackay, Trudy F. C. (1996). Introduction to quantitative genetics (4th ed.). Essex, England: Longman. ISBN   9780582243026. OCLC   34415160.
  19. Weir, Bruce (2004). "The 2004 Genetics Society of America Medal Trudy F. C. Mackay". Genetics. 166 (2): 647–648. doi:10.1534/genetics.166.2.647. PMC   1470721 . PMID   15020454.
  20. "The American Philosophical Society Welcomes New Members for 2021". American Philosophical Society. Retrieved 2021-05-12.
  21. "Ground-breaking geneticist, Trudy Mackay, to receive prestigious Dawson Prize". EurekAlert!. Retrieved 2021-05-12.
  22. "Fellows of AAAS" (PDF).
  23. "Trudy F.C. Mackay". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2021-05-12.