Dr. William R. Atchley, genetics professor, has been awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
The award recognizes those with a record of extraordinary service to the state, including community, professional and organizational contributions. State Rep. Maggie Jeffus presented the order to Atchley on the governor’s behalf during a reception in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Atchley, the William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Genetics, has made substantial contributions to computational biology and molecular evolution during his 20 years at NC State. More recently, his research group has been interested in modeling structure and evolution of transcriptional regulators. Atchley has been named fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as Chinese Academy of Sciences distinguished international professor. He also holds an Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Award from the Max Planck Institute in Mathematics in Leipzig, Germany.
Atchley earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Eastern New Mexico University and master’s and doctoral degrees in entomology from the University of Kansas. He was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Melbourne before joining the faculty of Texas Tech University. He subsequently moved his research laboratory to the University of Wisconsin before joining NC State in 1986.
In addition to his scientific achievements, Atchley is an accomplished saxophone player. He founded the 17-piece Jazz Alliance and the jazz sextet Unit 7.