Kenneth H. Wolfe

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Ken Wolfe

Kenneth Wolfe Royal Society.jpg
Ken Wolfe at the Royal Society admissions day in London, July 2017
Kenneth Henry Wolfe
Alma materUniversity of Dublin (BA, PhD)
AwardsEMBO Member (2010)[1]
Scientific career
FieldsComparative genomics
Yeast genetics
InstitutionsUniversity College Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin
Indiana University Bloomington[3]
ThesisRates of nucleotide substitution in higher plants and mammals (1990)
Doctoral advisorPaul M. Sharp[4][5][6]
Other academic advisorsJeffrey D. Palmer[7]
Doctoral students

Kenneth Henry Wolfe FRS MRIA[11][12] is Professor of Genomic Evolution at University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland.[13][11][14]


Wolfe was educated at Trinity College, Dublin where he was awarded Bachelor of Arts degree in Genetics in 1986[3] followed by a PhD in 1990[6] for research investigating synonymous substitution in vascular plants and mammals supervised by Paul M. Sharp.[4][5][6][15]

Research and career[edit]

Wolfe's research focuses on comparative genomics, yeast genetics and bioinformatics.[2][16][17] Work in his laboratory investigates the evolution of eukaryotic genomes and chromosome organisation,[12] he is best known for his discovery that the genome of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae underwent complete genome duplication about 100 million years ago,[18] an event that is now known to be the result of hybridization between two divergent species.[12] This finding reshaped our understanding both of yeast biology, and of mechanisms of genome evolution in eukaryotes,[12] his subsequent discoveries of similar ancient genome duplications (paleopolyploidy)[19] during human evolution, and in almost all families of flowering plants, led to the realisation that whole-genome duplication is widespread.[12] His group also studies the origin and evolution of mating systems in yeasts, and the process of mating-type switching in which one cell type can change into another by moving or replacing a section of chromosome.[12]

Wolfe was a postdoctoral researcher with Jeffrey D. Palmer[7] at Indiana University Bloomington before returning to Ireland in 1992 to establish his research group in the Genetics Department of Trinity College Dublin,[20][3] where he has remained for over 20 years. As of 2017 his most highly cited peer reviewed papers[2][14][16] have been published in leading scientific journals including Nature,[18][21] PNAS,[22] The Plant Cell,[19][23] Genome Research[24] and Nature Reviews Genetics.[7]

Former doctoral students from the Wolfe lab include Mario A. Fares,[4] Aoife McLysaght,[4][8][9] Estelle Proux-Wéra[4] and Cathal Seoighe.[5][10]

Awards and honours[edit]

Wolfe was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2017,[12] a member of the Royal Irish Academy (MRIA) in 2000[11] and a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) in 2010.[1] In 2011 he served as president of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution ([25]


  1. ^ a b Anon (2010). "EMBO member: Kenneth H. Wolfe". Heidelberg: European Molecular Biology Organization. Archived from the original on 2017-01-31.
  2. ^ a b c Kenneth H. Wolfe publications indexed by Google Scholar Edit this at Wikidata
  3. ^ a b c Ken Wolfe's Entry at ORCID
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Anon (2017). "Kenneth H. Wolfe academic geneaology". Archived from the original on 2017-07-11.
  5. ^ a b c d Kenneth H. Wolfe at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  6. ^ a b c Wolfe, Kenneth H. (1990). Rates of nucleotide substitution in higher plants and mammals (PhD thesis). Trinity College, Dublin. OCLC 842511087. Copac 11666046.
  7. ^ a b c Wolfe, Kenneth H. (2001). "Yesterday's polyploids and the mystery of diploidization". Nature Reviews Genetics. 2 (5): 333–341. doi:10.1038/35072009. ISSN 1471-0056. PMID 11331899. (subscription required)
  8. ^ a b McLysaght, Aoife (2002). Evolution of vertebrate genome organisation (PDF) (PhD thesis). Trinity College, Dublin. OCLC 842498402. Copac 11660313. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-11-06.
  9. ^ a b Wolfe, Ken (2017). "Wolfe lab alumni". Archived from the original on 2017-07-11.
  10. ^ a b Seoighe, Cathal (2000). Gene order evolution and genomic analysis of the model eukaryote, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and other yeast species (PhD thesis). Trinity College, Dublin. OCLC 842501444. Copac 11661350.
  11. ^ a b c Anon (2000). "Kenneth H. Wolfe FTCD". Dublin: Royal Irish Academy.[dead link]
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Anon (2017). "Professor Kenneth Wolfe FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2017-05-05. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    “All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on 2016-11-11. Retrieved 2016-03-09.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)

  13. ^ UCD Professor Kenneth Wolfe elected Fellow of the Royal Society on YouTube, University College Dublin
  14. ^ a b Kenneth H. Wolfe publications from Europe PubMed Central
  15. ^ Sharp, Paul M.; Cowe, Elizabeth; Higgins, Desmond G.; Shields, Denis C.; Wolfe, Kenneth H.; Wright, Frank (1988). "Codon usage patterns in Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Drosophila melanogaster and Homo sapiens; a review of the considerable within-species diversity". Nucleic Acids Research. 16 (17): 8207–8211. doi:10.1093/nar/16.17.8207. ISSN 0305-1048. PMC 338553. PMID 3138659.
  16. ^ a b Kenneth H. Wolfe publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  17. ^ Sherlock, Gavin; Schröder, Markus S.; Martinez de San Vicente, Kontxi; Prandini, Tâmara H. R.; Hammel, Stephen; Higgins, Desmond G.; Bagagli, Eduardo; Wolfe, Kenneth H.; Butler, Geraldine (2016). "Multiple Origins of the Pathogenic Yeast Candida orthopsilosis by Separate Hybridizations between Two Parental Species". PLOS Genetics. 12 (11): e1006404. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1006404. ISSN 1553-7404. PMC 5091853. PMID 27806045. open access
  18. ^ a b Wolfe, Kenneth H.; Shields, Denis C. (1997). "Molecular evidence for an ancient duplication of the entire yeast genome". Nature. 387 (6634): 708–713. doi:10.1038/42711. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 9192896. (subscription required)
  19. ^ a b Blanc, Guillaume; Wolfe, Kenneth H. (2004). "Widespread Paleopolyploidy in Model Plant Species Inferred from Age Distributions of Duplicate Genes". The Plant Cell. 16 (7): 1667–1678. doi:10.1105/tpc.021345. ISSN 1040-4651. PMC 514152. PMID 15208399.
  20. ^ "Trinity College Dublin Genetics Department".
  21. ^ Lander, E. S.; Linton, M.; Birren, B.; Nusbaum, C.; Zody, C.; Baldwin, J.; Devon, K.; Dewar, K.; Doyle, M.; Fitzhugh, W.; Funke, R.; Gage, D.; Harris, K.; Heaford, A.; Howland, J.; Kann, L.; Lehoczky, J.; Levine, R.; McEwan, P.; McKernan, K.; Meldrim, J.; Mesirov, J. P.; Miranda, C.; Morris, W.; Naylor, J.; Raymond, C.; Rosetti, M.; Santos, R.; Sheridan, A.; et al. (2001). "Initial sequencing and analysis of the human genome" (PDF). Nature. 409 (6822): 860–921. Bibcode:2001Natur.409..860L. doi:10.1038/35057062. hdl:2027.42/62798. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 11237011.
  22. ^ Wolfe, K. H.; Li, W. H.; Sharp, P. M. (1987). "Rates of nucleotide substitution vary greatly among plant mitochondrial, chloroplast, and nuclear DNAs". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 84 (24): 9054–9058. doi:10.1073/pnas.84.24.9054. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 299690. PMID 3480529.
  23. ^ Blanc, Guillaume; Wolfe, Kenneth H. (2004). "Functional Divergence of Duplicated Genes Formed by Polyploidy during Arabidopsis Evolution". The Plant Cell. 16 (7): 1679–1691. doi:10.1105/tpc.021410. ISSN 1040-4651. PMC 514153. PMID 15208398.
  24. ^ Blanc, G.; Hokamp, Karsten; Wolfe, Kenneth H. (2003). "A Recent Polyploidy Superimposed on Older Large-Scale Duplications in the Arabidopsis Genome". Genome Research. 13 (2): 137–144. doi:10.1101/gr.751803. ISSN 1088-9051. PMC 420368. PMID 12566392.
  25. ^ Anon (2017). "SMBE Council members".