One of the men credited with unlocking the secrets of the now-familiar 'double helix' structure of DNA, Prof. James Watson, is due to be the central speaker at the 12th Conference of Medical Chemistry organised by Patras University that begins on Monday and runs until April 15.

Watson is due to deliver a lecture on "Discovering the Double Helix of DNA" on April 14, while on the previous day there will be an event in his honour held by the university and the mayor of the port city of Patras in the west Peloponnese.

On April 15, Watson will be a guest of the 'Democritus' research centre in Athens, where he will speak on the topic of DNA and the potential for using human genome mapping to cure cancer.

Watson, along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, were awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for unlocking the double-helix structure of DNA, widely seen as one of the most important scientific discoveries of all time. The scientific paper co-authored by Watson and Crick, who worked together at Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory, was published in "Nature" in 1953 and opened the way for radical developments in genetics, medicine and biotechnology.