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Brian Clark Lecture Hall

Lecture Hall named after Brian Clark

A lecture hall on the Greek island of Spetses has been named after Professor Brian F.C. Clark in recognition of his many years of organising the international conferences in Molecular and Cell Biology entitled Spetses Summer Schools.

These courses have been a great success over the years, as they have attracted internationally acclaimed scientists as lecturers as well as excellent PhD students and postdoc participants from all over the world. A sign of the high reputation of the summer schools is the fact that as many as 20 Nobel Prize winners out of about 400 lecturers have been lecturing at these summer schools since they started.

In 1969, when he was still working at Cambridge University, Brian Clark was coorganiser of the second summer school in the series of Spetses Summer Schools with Francis Crick (Cambridge) (chairman), Mark Bretscher (Cambridge), and A.E. Evangelopoulos (Athens).

With a few exceptions, there has been a Spetses Summer School every year since 1966, and since then and until 2009, Brian Clark was (co)-organiser of a summer school every fourth year taking turn with researchers from Germany, France and the USA in organising these conferences.

Initially, the summer schools were held at the boarding school Anargyrios and Korgialenios Boarding School on the Island of Spetses, but when the standard of the buildings was not kept up to date, the summer schools were moved to the nearby Spetses Hotel, where they are also held today.

It was planned that the summer schools should move back to the boarding school, and in this connection, a thorough renovation of the boarding school was planned to take place in 2011-12, but due to the weak economy in Greece this renovation has been put on stand-by.

In the beginning, the summer schools were funded by NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) and later by FEBS (the Federation of Biochemical Societies), EMBO (the European Molecular Biology Organization) and lately also IUBMB (the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology).

After Brian Clark stopped organising these conferences, the strong Cambridge-Aarhus ties have continued with Sir Alan Fersht from Cambridge and Daniel Otzen from Aarhus, who organised a Spetses Summer School in 2013. Also Poul Nissen is planning to organise one in 2015 with Sir John Walker.

Read more about the history of the Spetses Summer Schools.