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Mackay wins North Carolina award

Dr. Trudy Mackay is among a group of distinguished North Carolinians who will receive the North Carolina Award, the highest civilian honor the state bestows, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10, at the N. C. Museum of History.

The awards are administered by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

“Each year, the North Carolina Awards are a chance for us to honor men and women who reflect the very best in imagination, exploration, creativity, and humanitarian service,” said Cultural Resources Secretary Linda A. Carlisle.

Mackay, who won the science award, is an internationally renowned quantitative geneticist, whose work has redefined the boundaries of the genetics of complex traits.  Her sequencing of 192 lines of the Drosophilia fly, which she makes available to other researchers, has become a major, standardized, resource for the scientific community to use for gene discovery and evolutionary studies.

Her work in quantitative genetics has contributed to the understanding of health concerns including diabetes, cancer, glaucoma, alcohol abuse, high blood pressure, and longevity.

Other honorees this year are Charles E. Hamner, Jr., of Chapel Hill and H. Martin Lancaster, of Raleigh, both for Public Service; Ron Rash, of Cullowhee, for Literature; and Vollis Simpson, of Lucama, and Branford Marsalis, of Durham, both for Fine Arts.

Created by the General Assembly in 1961, the North Carolina Awards have been presented annually since 1964.  The award recognizes significant contributions to the state and nation in the fields of fine arts, literature, public service and science.  For additional information on the North Carolina Awards call (919) 807-7389 or (919) 807-7256.

An awards committee chaired by Jack Cozort of Raleigh selected recipients from nominations submitted by the public.  Other committee members are Selma Fox of Charlotte, Charles Sanders of Durham, Marsha White Warren of Chapel Hill, and Pamela Myers of Asheville.  Past recipients include William Friday, Romare Bearden, James Taylor, Gertrude Elion, John Hope Franklin, David Brinkley, Maya Angelou, and Billy Graham.  For a complete list of recipients and more about the awards, go to

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