For the third year running, EMBL alumni in Greece met for a weekend break in Dilofo on 13th-15th June. The focus of their meeting was to further develop means of encouraging young people pursuing a career in science. Several of the participating Greek alumni had already visited schools to give talks to students, and expressed their interest in a more organized form of contact with students and high school teachers. Former EMBL Cell Biology and Biophysics predoc, Haralabia Boleti (1991-1996) presented the activities of the EMBL SET-Routes and ELLS as a successful model (www.embl.org/ells). The local chapter participants agreed to develop an organised network of secondary school biology teachers in Greece who they could support annually by jointly preparing scientific presentations and activities for their classrooms. This year they will focus on the theory of evolution.
A second topic of discussion for the former EMBL scientists was the development of the Greek section of the alumni wiki to help EMBL staff and alumni considering a career move to Greece (www.embl.org/alumni/wiki). Text was drafted and added to these pages after the meeting. An editor for this section is yet to be identified, and the local chapter organizer and Alumni Association board member, Anastasia Politou (former postdoc of the Structural and Computational Biology Unit, 1991-1995) will be contacting alumni for this purpose.
The next local chapter meeting in Greece will take place in November 2009 during the annual meeting of the Hellenic Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (HSBMB). Greek EMBO members will be invited to present a scientific talk focusing on their recent work.
The fourth summer meeting in June 2010 will take place again in Dilofo. The participants would like to invite as many pre- and postdocs from the alumni labs, again in a continued effort to support young scientists in Greece.