Public Relations & Press Office
Press Release
Athens, 15 April 2011
Lecture of Prof. J. Watson
 Nobel Prize 1962
Physiology or Medicine
NCSR "Demokritos"
Friday 15th  April 2011

In the third lecture of the series "50 years devoted to science, education and development" we had the honor to host one of the founders of molecular biology and "father" of the double helix of DNA, Nobel Laureate the Prof. James D. Watson.

The speech took place on Friday 15/04/1911 entitled: "Brief Remarks" about DNA, Curing Incurable Cancer and Personal Genome, at 15:00 pm at Central Auditorium.

In the first part of his talk Professor Watson gave advices to young researchers about a successful career. Taking examples from his personal scientific achievements he suggested to the young researchers to:

1. concentrate to a specific interesting question where not too many people are working
2. take advice from more experienced researcher but not follow them
3. discuss very often with the researchers who compete with him/her trying to get new ideas
4. try to meet more intelligent people than you

He made several references in Linus Pauling, Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins, his major collaborators and competitors during the DNA double helix characterization.

In the second part of his talk he focused in Cancer Research and especially in Leukemia and Melanoma.

He said that he is interested in cancer research for more than 60 years and believes that some forms of cancer will be cured the next 5-10 years. There are very different types of cancer and often resistance in chemotherapy is developed. If we look in the Biochemistry of cancer cells we see that the most aggressive cancer cells look like embryonic stem cells. A major mechanism in cancer development is the phenomenon called Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition. The essence of mesenchymal cell is that they move and they metastasize.  They can differentiate and de-differentiate. Melanoma is mesenhymal cells very hard to treat in contrast to epithelial cells. My suggestion about how to kill cancer, is differentiate the stem cells.


For the NCSR Demokritos

The National Center for Scientific Research (NCSR) "Demokritos" is the largest multidisciplinary research center in the country with substantial scientific research, technological and educational activities in the areas of: Health, Biology and Biotechnology, New Materials Micro & Nanotechnology, Environment - Energy and Sustainable Development, Information Technology & Telecommunications, Nuclear Physics & Elementary Particle Physics, Nuclear Technology & Radiation Protection, Cultural Heritage. All the activities are coordinated by the eight Institutes of the Center: 1) Biology, 2) Materials Science, 3) Microelectronics,4) Computer and Telecommunications, 5) Nuclear Engineering and Radiological, 6) Nuclear Physics, 7) Chemistry, 8) Radioisotopes and Radiopharmaceuticals

For more information pls contact:

Floratou Zoe
Public Relations & Press Office
Τel. +30 210- 650 3002, email: