History of the Institute

Institute of Genetics of the USSR Academy of Sciences (AS) was founded in 1934 and became the first specialized on genetics Institute of the Soviet AS. The Institute was set up on the basis of the Laboratory of Genetics. When the headquarters of the Academy of Sciences were moved from Leningrad to Moscow so was the Institute of Genetics. The wide spectrum of research in genetics and breeding of plants was carried out in the Institute. Nikolay I.Vavilov hold the post of the director of the Institute till his arrest in August 1940. Soon after, Trofim D.Lysenko – the ideologist of the ruining of genetics in the Soviet Union – was nominated the director of the Institute. During this period investigations in genetics were stopped, most N.I.Vavilov’s staff were fired or resigned.

In in autumn of 1964, as an outcome of the changings in the political situation of the country, genetics was “rehabilitated” and reconsidered as an important scientific discipline. In 1965, by the resolution of the AS Presidium, headed by Lysenko Institute of Genetics was liquidated. In return the Institute of General Genetics of the USSR AS was set up with Nikolay P.Dubinin as the director. The investigations on molecular genetics, cytogenetics, animal and plant genetics, population and evolutionary genetics, study of genetic effects of radiation etc. were expanded in the Institute.

In 1981,  a specialist on plant breeding Alexey A.Sozinov became the director of the Institute.

From 1988 till 1991 the Institute was headed by  Sergey V. Shestakov, who was a specialist on genetics of microorganisms. From 1992 till 2006 academician Yuri P.Altukhov was the head of the Institute. Since 2006 the directorship of the Institute has been hold by  Nick K. Yankovsky.

Because of substantial impact of N. I. Vavilov (1887-1943) into the formation of the genetics and other fields of biology, and because his name became the symbol of the adherence to science, in 1983 the Institute of General Genetics was awarded the name of N. I. Vavilov.

At present, the Institute of General Genetics is a one of leading genetic scientific center in Russia.