Gerta Vrbová at our next BYO Lunch Meeting

Spring is in the air, and it’s time to come out of hibernation and get networking! Meet other amiable and inspiring colleagues at our next bring-your-own lunch meeting.

Join us on 27 April 2016 for an informal talk by Gerta Vrbová, Emeritus Professor of Developmental Neuroscience in the Division of Biosciences.

We’ll meet from 12.30 to 2 PM. Please come to room 305 of the hospitable Department of Psychology: 26 Bedford Way, WC1H 0AP (the same place as usual).

How to get there

Go to the seminar room on the 3rd floor. You can buy drinks and sandwiches at the Café next door to the seminar room, or bring your own! Step-free access is available immediately to the right of the main entrance.


To carry on in our series “Who am I – what am I doing?”, our inspiring speaker is Gerta Vrbová. She’ll be telling us about herself, her amazing life story and her long and illustrious career.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Gerta’s biography

Gerta Vrbová in 2014, and with husband, Rudolf Vrba, in Bratislava after the war [picture from Daily Mirror]

Gerta Vrbová (born 1926, in Slovakia) wrote “Archibald V. Hill’s Contribution to Science and Society”. She herself lived through the Holocaust. The story of her escape to England, where she eventually became a professor at UCL, is like an adventure novel.

As an academic she was able to gain permission to travel between the Soviet states of Eastern Europe, and on a visit to a conference in Poland in 1958, she decided to make her escape. Travelling on foot across the mountains back to Czechoslovakia, she collected her children aged four and six, crossed the Polish Czechoslovak border with them and took a train to Warsaw. Having unofficially entered the names of children on her passport, she was able to obtain a transit visa for Copenhagen, from where, after a year, she was able finally to come to England. [Adapted from David Colquhoun’s website feature]

For more information about Gerta, see also this interview in the Physiological Society Oral History Project

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