The Mendel Lectures is a series of lectures given by the world´s top scientists in genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology, medicine and related areas which has been held in the refectory of the Augustian Abbey of St. Thomas in Brno, Czech Republic since May 2003. The lectures were established to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) by James Watson (1928) and Francis Crick (1916-2004). The Mendel Lectures are named in honour of Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-1884), the founder of genetics, who lived and worked in the Augustinian Abbey in Brno 1843-1884. Based on his experiments conducted in the abbey between 1856 and 1863, Mendel established the basic rules of heredity, now referred to as the laws of Mendelian inheritance. The Mendel Lectures are organized by the Masaryk University, the Mendel Museum, the St. Anne´s University Hospital Brno, and the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna, Austria. The thirteenth season of the Mendel Lectures is running at present. More than 90 top scientists, including many Nobel Prize winners, have visited Brno to give a Mendel Lecture, for example Tim Hunt, Jack W. Szostak, John Gurdon, Elizabeth Blackburn, Paul Nurse, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Günter Blobel, Kurt Wüthrich, Jules A. Hoffmann, Aaron Ciechanover and others.