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Jaroslav Doležel receives the "Czech Head Prize", the most prestigious Czech scientific award

IWGSC Coordinating Committee member, Jaroslav Doležel received the Czech Head prize, nicknamed the Czech Nobel Prize, in a lavish ceremony in Prague on Sunday 25 November.

Jaroslav_Czeck Head Prize

The well-deserved prize crowns a lifelong commitment to excellence in science. The IWGSC is honored to count Jaroslav as one of its leaders and the recent publication of a high-quality reference sequence of the wheat genome would not have been possible without Jaroslav’s involvement and leadership in the project from the very beginning.

Jaroslav’s team has been involved in wheat sequencing efforts even before the birth of the IWGSC, as his team pioneered flow sorting of wheat chromosomes and constructed the first BAC library of the 3B chromosome in 2002. When the IWGSC was created in 2005, the consensus was that the only way to tackle the complexity of the wheat genome was to use a chromosome by chromosome strategy.

Over the next 12 years, Jaroslav’s team optimized the procedure and relentlessly worked on the production of 36 chromosome – or chromosome-arm – specific BAC libraries for the 21 wheat chromosomes, a result that was achieved in 2015.

In August of this year, the IWGSC published the reference sequence of the bread wheat genome, an accomplishment that would not have been possible without the dedication, commitment and extensive work of Jaroslav and his team.

The IWGSC will forever be thankful to his leadership in the project, as an exceptional scientist, but also as a great human being, enthusiastic, passionate and generous.

About Jaroslav Doležel

Jaroslav Doležel is the Scientific Director of the Centre of the Region Haná for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research and the head of the research program Novel Materials and Methods for Plant Breeding. Since 1983 he has been working for the Institute of Experimental Botany, Academy of Sciences CR (IEB AS CR) and is currently the Head of the Centre of Plant Structural and Functional Genomics. His scientific specialization is plant gene structure and evolution, flow cytometry application to nucleus genome analysis, genome mapping and sequencing of economically important crops. He is the author of more than 150 scientific papers in impacted journals, the editor of 2 books and investigator or co-investigator in more than 20 projects.

Jaroslav Doležel obtained his MSc. degree from the University of Agriculture in Brno in 1978 and his PhD degree from the Institute of Experimental Botany (IEB), Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in 1983. He obtained his DSc. degree from IEB, the Czech Academy of Sciences (the CAS) in 2001. He was appointed Associate Professor at Palacký University in Olomouc (PU) in 2001.