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Celebrating Crystallography at Birkbeck

The Department of Biological Sciences welcomed crystallography alumni back to the College in an evening of celebration that considered the past, present and future of science at Birkbeck.

Crystallography at Birkbeck has a distinguished history, beginning with the foundation of the crystallography laboratory shortly after World War Two and encompassing the work of some of the most influential scientists in the field for generations to come: from Nobel laureates Derek Barton and Aaron Klug, to fellows of the Royal Society Alan McKay and Rosalind Franklin.

On Thursday 7 February 2019, Crystallography alumni were warmly invited back to the College to celebrate this rich history and look towards the future of the subject. They were joined by Professor David Latchman CBE, Master of Birkbeck; Dame Julia Goodfellow, Chair of the British Science Association; and Gabriel Waksman, Professor of Structural and Molecular Biology at Birkbeck. Over the course of the evening, guests were given tours of the Department of Biological Sciences, where crystallography now sits, and heard from speakers about the future of the department and of science at Birkbeck.

The speeches were introduced by Fellow of Birkbeck Professor Sir Tom Blundell, who led crystallography at the College from 1977 – 1995, before becoming the founding chief executive of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. In 2017 Professor Blundell was awarded the acclaimed Ewald Prize, one of the most prestigious available in the field of crystallography, in recognition of his worldwide leadership of crystallographic innovation.

Speaking about the evening, one guest said: "It was a wonderful event! Thank you to Birkbeck for organising and for your excellent ongoing work to continue education for those who need it." 

Crystallography at Birkbeck has a strong tradition of research excellence and welcomes part-time and full-time students to its postgraduate and PhD courses each year.

If you would like to be invited to departmental reunions in the future, please make sure we have your up-to-date details.

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