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Abraham Korol

In November 2016, Abraham Korol was awarded an IWGSC Outstanding Leadership Award in appreciation and recognition of his dedication and support of the IWGSC over the last 10 years.

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Abraham Korol and Kellye Eversole

A prominent Israeli geneticist and evolutionary biologist, Abraham Korol is Professor of Genetics in the Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology in the Institute of Evolution at the University of Haifa in Israel. With a unique background in mathematics that enables him to approach biological problems in an original way, he is renown for his work on the evolution of sex and recombination, genome mapping and the genetics of complex traits.

Abraham’s research is focused on evolutionary genetics and genomics in several target species using both theoretical and experimental approaches with emphasis on the mathematical aspect.

Abraham joined the IWGSC at its beginning, in 2006, and has been a constant supporter and advocate of the Consortium since then. Originally not working on wheat, his interest in this crop has grown from the welcome he has received from the wheat community and the fascinating biology of recombination in tetraploid and hexaploid species.

Abraham provided a consistent reference point in the period when genetic maps (particularly composite molecular genetic maps) were being developed as a key point of reference for the genome assembly. He played a key role in the development of LTC, a new algorithm that significantly improved the assembly of physical maps in wheat and in other species with complex genomes.

LTC proved to be particularly suitable for genomes with a high content of repetitive elements and, therefore, has been highly valuable for wheat genomics. Abraham and his team at Haifa University tightly collaborated with the GDEC team at INRA Clermont-Ferrand on the construction of the chromosome 1B physical map and comparative analyses. Further on, adaptation of LTC for the assembly of physical maps from Whole Genome Profile Tags provided high quality physical maps for 3 chromosomes and 2 chromosome arms (2B, 2D, 4B, 5BL, 5DL).

The clarity of his insights into complex problems in wheat such as recombination has been a consistent source of inspiration for the whole wheat community.

Abraham was born in Moldova, at the time part of the Soviet Union. In 1976, he received is PhD in genetics from the Institute of General Genetics in Moscow. He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science by the Presidium of Academy of Science USSR in 1988, and became a full professor in 1991, before immigrating to Israel to establish and head the Laboratory of Population Genetics and Computational Biology in the Institute of Evolution at the University of Haifa. He became full professor there in 1996 and served as the director of the Institute of Evolution from 2008 to 2013.

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