Mary Napier receives a Massey Award for Distinguished Service

Congratulations to Dr. Mary Napier, Research Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, who is a recipient of a 2012 C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award.

Mary Napier receives a Massey Award for Distinguished Service click to enlarge Mary Napier, PhD

Dr. Mary Napier with the DeSimone Group has been selected by Chancellor Holden Thorp to receive one of six C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Awards for this year. This award is one of the most coveted distinctions the University gives faculty and staff. The late C. Knox Massey of Durham created the awards in 1980 to recognize “unusual, meritorious or superior contributions” by University employees. In 1984, he joined the families of his son, Knox Massey Jr., and daughter, Kay Massey Weatherspoon, in creating the Massey-Weatherspoon fund. Income from the fund supports the Massey Awards and Carolina Seminars.

Chancellor Thorp will honor the recipients, who were chosen from nominations from the campus community, at an awards luncheon on April 28, 2012 where each will receive a $6,000 stipend and an award citation.

Dr. Napier manages the DeSimone Research Group, a 46-person team that focuses on learning how to bring aspects of nanotechnology into the field of medicine, specifically for fabrication and delivery of vaccines or other medicines for the prevention and treatment of diseases. The group, one of the largest at Carolina, conducts its research in 4,500 square feet of lab space and generates about $3.5 million in annual grant support. Dr. Napier has several formal and informal responsibilities which add up to coordinating the lab's multifaceted role.  Colleagues say that her presence and commanding capabilities serve as the glue that holds many collaborations together, and she is the compass that keeps each project on track to yield significant research outcomes.


This year’s other recipients are:

  • Matthew Brody, associate vice chancellor for Human Resources;
  • Herbert Lee Davis Jr., retired associate director of Undergraduate Admissions;
  • Barbara Stenros, senior assistant dean of Academic Advising;
  • Jackie Overton, professional development manager in the Department of Public Safety; and
  • Teretha Diane Rone, housekeeper in Facilities Services, who works in the School of Government.