Center for Human Genetics Opens in Greenwood

Trudy Mackay and students at the Clemson Center for Human Genetics.

With an internationally prominent geneticist at the helm, the Clemson Center for Human Genetics opened its state-of-the-art facility in August in Self Regional Hall on the campus of the Greenwood Genetic Center in Greenwood, S.C.

Center director Trudy Mackay, Self Family Endowed Chair in Human Genetics and professor of genetics and biochemistry, is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on the genetics of complex traits.

Mackay, recipient of Trinity College’s 2018 Dawson Prize in Genetics, is joined at the center by Robert Anholt, Provost’s Distinguished Professor of Genetics and Biochemistry and director of faculty excellence initiatives in the College of Science. Both came to Clemson from North Carolina State University.

“We now know that all of us are 99.9 percent identical in our DNA, but that tenth-of-a-percent difference translates to 3 million small genetic differences
between any two of us,” said Mackay, who has published more than 200 papers. “The challenge now is to understand how these molecular differences in DNA affect our susceptibility to diseases like cancer and heart ailments.”

The naming of Self Regional Hall recognizes the ongoing support from Self Regional Healthcare, which has contributed $5.6 million to the facility. In addition, the $4 million endowed chair held by Mackay was funded equally by the Self Family Foundation and the state of South Carolina.

Clemson President James P. Clements noted that the partnership with the Greenwood Genetic Center and the support of Self Regional Healthcare and the Self Family Foundation “will allow our faculty researchers to translate their findings into tangible treatment options more quickly and efficiently.”

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