The Spetses Summer Schools on Molecular and Cell Biology are looking forward to their 50th anniversary in 2016. They were started by the late Marianne Grunberg-Manago and Athanasios Evangelopoulos in 1966 and through their untiring initiative have been kept as a series of well-known annual lecture courses until to date. Initially, the Spetses Summer Schools were sponsored exclusively by NATO. But the strict rules soon caused the organizers to apply for further grants from FEBS and EMBO as to allow to invite and support lecturers and students from non-NATO countries. In recent years, Schools relied on major financial support from FEBS, EMBO and IUBMB. Over the years, over 500 different lecturers came to the island (including more than 15 Nobel laureates) to teach more than 5,000 young pre- and post-doctoral researchers.
The 50th anniversary will be dedicated to the pioneers of this activity, namely, Marianne Grunberg-Manago, Brian Clark and Athanasios Evangelopoulos. The Course will focus on the “Molecular basis of human diseases”. The scientific program covers a wide range of issues including lectures on fundamental biological functions and their link to diseases as well as focused lectures on various diseases. The program includes lectures, posters and various training sessions that will enable young scientists to interact with a few of the best international experts of this scientific field. Additionally, there will be “tutorials” where young scientists will take advantage of senior scientists and their advice as well as a “round table discussion”. Finally, since lecturers and young participants will be accommodated together, discussions will be also possible during leisure periods, while programmed social events will also bring together young scientists and senior researchers in a more comfortable and friendly environment.