1022-7954/05/4106- © 2005 Pleiades Publishing, Inc.
Russian Journal of Genetics, Vol. 41, No. 6, 2005, pp. 705–706. Translated from Genetika, Vol. 41, No. 6, 2005, pp. 863–864.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2005 by the Editorial Board.
The 70th birthday of Leonid Ivanovich Korochkin,
Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of
Sciences, an outstanding geneticist and neurobiologist,
and our dear friend was on April 16, 2005.
Korochkin was born on 16 April 1935 in the city of
Novokuznetsk, in a family of healthcare workers. His
father Ivan Grigor’evich was an Honored Doctor of the
Russian Federation; his mother Antonina Vasil’evna
(whom many of us knew personally) worked as a med-
ical nurse until she retired.
In 1954, Korochkin graduated from school with
honors (a Golden Medal) and entered Tomsk Medical
Institute. Korochkin showed a strong inclination to
research as early as at his ﬁrst years at the institute and
was a member of several students' scientiﬁc societies.
Then, Korochkin entered a postgraduate course at
the Department of Histology of the same institute and
defended his candidate dissertation within a year (!).
The subject of the dissertation was the ontogeny of the
intramural nervous apparatus of the human alimentary
canal, and Korochkin was one of the ﬁrst Russian
(Soviet) researchers to use histochemical methods for
studying neurogenesis. He then used the results of this
study to enunciate the so-called group principle of neu-
ron development, which was essentially the discovery
of the module principle governing the organization of
the nervous tissue (as applied to the autonomic nervous
system). The principles of the histochemical testing of
neuron functional activity developed by Korochkin are
still being used in neurohistology and pathohistology.
Afterwards, summarizing the results of his experiments
with the use of various methods, Korochkin suggested
a detailed scheme of the organization of the intramural
nervous system of the human alimentary canal, which
has withstood the test of time and is still useful now.
These results were summarized in the monograph
Differentiation and Aging of an Autonomic Neuron
(Leningrad: Nauka, 1965), which brought him a doc-
toral degree in medicine (1968).
In 1964, Korochkin moved to the Institute of Cytol-
ogy and Genetics of the Siberian Division of the Acad-
emy of Sciences of the Soviet Union in Novosibirsk.
There Korochkin organized the Group of the Genetics
of Ontogeny, which soon became a laboratory of the
same name. The role of the cellular genetic apparatus in
cell determination and differentiation remained the
main subject of his studies for many years. Possessing
the rare gift to discern the integrated pattern of the phe-
nomenon studied and ﬁnd an adequate experimental
approach to its analysis, Korochkin started studies on
the mammalian central nervous system and on the com-
plex genetic system controlling the functions of the
male sex system. Korochkin and his disci-
ples demonstrated the periodicity of the nucleus mor-
phogenetic activity in the course of the ontogeny of the
mammalian cerebral cortex. They were the ﬁrst Soviet
researchers to begin studies on genetics of behavior and
Leonid Ivanovich Korochkin Is 70