International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Annual Report 2007

This Annual Report summarizes the activities of the IUBMB in 2007.

Report of the President (Angelo Azzi)

The incorporation as IUBMB Inc, the IUBMB sister society, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been successful. The Internal Revenue Service has granted it public charity status. The relationships between IUBMB and IUBMB Inc will be harmonized by appropriate statute changes. A donation of $25,000 was received by the IUBMB Inc.

The IUBMB Archives deposited in Colchester have been scanned in form of searchable PDF files.
The Archives Committee has been set up with the following composition:
Ralph Bradshaw, co-chair, Andy Sutherland co-chair, William Whelan, Eduard C. Slater, Peter Ott, Willy Stalmans, President (ex officio)

The Biotechnology Committee has been set up with the following composition: Parviz Shamlou, Chair; Stevens Dahms; Francisco Baralle; Andrew Marshall; President, ex officio. The current activities have been an important biotechnology event for the Congress in Shanghai (Britton Chance symposium) and the Advanced School of Biotechnology in India (New Delhi)

Contacts have been taken with Mexican colleagues and in particular with George Dreyfus. An offer was made to hold the IUBMB Conference in 2011 in Mexico. Fernando Lopez is the Chairman of the local committee.

A joint committee of the ASBMB, PABMB and IUBMB has been created to activate the STAR Program. Jacques Weil accepted to be member of the selection committee together with the President.  The ASBMB Council has requested some modification of the original project including fewer fellowships for students to go to the North and more professorships for teachers to go to the South.

A Honorary Advisory Board of the IUBMB has been created with help of William Whelan and Jacques Weil comprising Aaron Ciechanover, Edmond H. Fischer, Hans L. Kornberg, Jean-Marie Lehn, Michael Sela, Edward C. Slater, Timothy Hunt, Francis Vella, Herbert Weissbach, William J. Whelan and Kurt Wüthrich.

In collaboration with Willy Stalmans the IUBMB Book Series has been initiated (Wiley and Sons, publishers) and the first book (approximately 300 pages), commissioned to César Fraga, University of California at Davis, on the Biochemistry of Natural Compounds of Plant Origin will appear at the beginning of 2009.

Report of the General Secretary (Jacques-Henry Weil)

The EC meeting 2007 was held on May 20-21 in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, before the 10th IUBMB Conference on «Infectious Diseases: Biochemistry of the parasites, vectors and hosts» which took place on May 21-25 in conjunction with the 36th annual meeting of the Brazilian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SBBq). I prepared the agenda and the Briefing Book for this meeting, mailed them to the EC members and Observers, and drafted the minutes after the EC meeting.

On the occasion of the Salvador Conference a YSF (Youg Scientist Forum) was organized and I participated in the selection committee, together with K.-J. Andersen, J.J. de Pont and 3 Brazilian colleagues (H. Chaimovich, D.Foguel and A.Zaha), which reviewed about 140 applications and selected 20 fellows.

Two meetings were held in Salvador with the organizers of the IUBMB Conference/FEBS Congress 2008 in Athens and with the organizers of the IUBMB/FAOBMB Congress 2009 in Shanghai, respectively, to discuss the preparation of these 2 events.

The revision of the Statutes was on the agenda of the Salvador EC meeting, but was not discussed because of lack of time. I therefore set up a sub-committee to discuss this revision, consisting of  colleagues based in Europe (K.-J. Andersen, J.J. de Pont, M.Osborn, P.Ott, W. Stalmans and myself), as it would have made it easier to meet if necessary (but a meeting was finally not needed). This sub-committee started discussing first by e-mail, then through a discussion forum set up on our website by P.Ott, several points considered as important, namely i) replacing delegates by contact persons of the ABs in the preparation of the General Assembly ; ii) election of a President when the Union finds itself without a President and a President Elect, and iii) what should be done when an Adhering Body fails to pay its dues for several years.

I attended, as the IUBMB Observer, 3 FEBS ExCom meetings (in Copenhagen on March 24, 2007, in Vienna on July 7, 2007, and in Brussels on December 8, 2007), and after participating in the FEBS Congress in Vienna on July 8-12, 2007, I also attended the FEBS Council meeting in Vienna on July 12-13. I circulated to the FEBS EC members the agenda and the minutes of these 3 FEBS ExCom meetings and of the FEBS Council meeting.

On September 16-19, 2007, I participted in a Conference on «Research Integrity: Fostering Responsible Research» organized in Lisbon, Portugal, by the European Science Foundation and the Office of Research Integrity of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

I was invited by the organizers of the International Congress of Biochemistry in Shiraz, Iran, on October 29-31, 2007, to give a lecture on genetically modified plants and to give a talk on the activities of IUBMB.

On November 28-29, 2007, I participated in a Colloquium on «Science and Society in the 21st Century» organized at the European Parlament in Strasbourg.

In Noveber-December 2007, together with Angelo Azzi and with Pascale Cossart and Helen Bierne (both from the Pasteur Institute, Paris), I participated in the evaluation of the approximately 190 applications submitted to the Advanced School in Africa, in order to establish a list of 50 fellows accepted to the Advanced School.

Throughout the year I had interactions by mail, e-mail and phone, with people within the IUBMB community (EC members, Adhering Bodies , Associated Adhering Bodies, Associated Regional Organizations) and outside the Union.

My activities as Chairman of the Committee of the Wood-Whelan Research Fellowships are summarized elsewhere in this annual report.

Report on the Wood-Whelan Research Fellowships (Jacques-Henry Weil)

The Fellowship Committee consisted of Iqbal Parker (South Africa), Avadhesha Surolia (India), Alicia Kowaltowski (Brazil) and myself.

In 2007, 34 applications were received and 17 fellowships were awarded. The total amount committed was about 38,000 US $, but the figure of the Treasurer will probably be somewhat different, because the Euro/US $ exchange rate varied during the year (some awards are made in Euros), and because some awards made at the end of the year are usually paid only the following year.

In another section of the website  (under «Young Scientist Support»), there is a list if the 17 awardees, giving details on their research project, the duration of the stay, the amount awarded (in US $), the sending and receiving laboratories and the host lab supervisor.

The following figures can be mentioned :

  • The success rate was 50 % .
  • The average age of the awardees was 28.2 years.
  • The average length of the stay in the receiving laboratory was approximately 2.4 months.
  • The average amount awarded was 2,250 US $. (the maximum which can be awarded is 3,000 US $).
  • Countries of the sending laboratory : India (5), Argentina (2), USA (2), Brazil, Cuba, Uruguay, Benin, Russia, Portugal, South Africa, Germany
  • Countries of the receiving laboratory : USA (4), Australia (2), Spain (2), UK (2), France, Italy, Sweden, Thailand, Greece, Argentina, Israel.

Report of the Treasurer (Jan Joep de Pont)

(The Table to which some items in this report refer to can be found here)

    1. At the General Assembly meeting in Kyoto the budget for the triennium 2006-2008 was approved (column 1). Based on that triennial budget the budget for 2006 was prepared and approved.
    2. The outcome for 2006 (column 2) was a large positive result. This was due to a higher income and lower expenditures than expected as well as the increase in the Euro/USD ratio.
    3. The Executive Committee decided in Salvador in May 2007 to transfer 280 kUSD to endowment funds in order to make future Congresses and Young Science Fellowships possible (see bottom column 2).
    4. At the same meeting it was decided to increase the expenditures in 2007 and 2008 for the IUBMB conference in 2008, the YSF at that conference, the STAR program and digitalization of the Archives. This resulted in an adapted budget for the period 2006-2008 (column 3) as well as for the 2007 budget (column 4).
    5. Despite the adaptations made in the budget there was again a positive result in 2007 of 385 kUSD, whereas only a profit of 24 kUSD was foreseen. The reason for that was again the further increased Euro/USD ratio, a much higher income from investments and publications, including a bonus of 50 kUSD for the transfer of BAMBEd to Wiley, lower expenditures for administration and a shift of the expenditures of regional organisations to the last year of the triennium.
    6. The treasurer will propose to the Executive committee to add the profit of 2007 to the following endowment funds to make future activities possible: 100 kUSD to the Wood-Whelan fund and 285 kUSD to the Special Initiatives fund.
    7. There were 13 Adhering Bodies with arrears in payment at  the end of 2007. France paid its debts in January 2008. I expect the delayed payments from China in near future. There is a problem with the payment of the USA, due to a reduction of the Federal Budget. The following AB’s did not pay their contribution for five years or more: Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Latvia and Uzbekistan. In addition, the Slovak Republic has arrears of four years, but has promised to pay the debts soon.

 

Jan Joep de Pont, treasurer IUBMB
Nijmegen, April 16th 2008

Report on the Publications Portfolio (Willy Stalmans)

Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry (BAB)

The journal’s impact factor had nearly doubled in 2006 (to 1.890 from 0.942 in 2005, and 1.0 in 2004 and 2003). In 2007 the impact factor remained high, at 1.903. The exact cause for this recent trend remains to be established.

The publication frequency had increased by half in 2006 (3 volumes, each containing 3 instead of 2 issues), and in 2007 the number of issues increased again in the electronic edition (from 3 to 4 issues per volume); however, in the hard-copy version, issues 3+4 of each volume have been printed and dispatched as a single issue.

IUBMB’s income from the journal shows important fluctuations: while in 2006 the income had doubled with respect to 2005, the latter increase had largely vanished again in 2007.

On December 5, 2007, we accepted to participate in Portland Press’s “Opt To Pay” program which, for a fee of £1500 (US$3000; €2200) to be paid by the authors, makes the e-version of their paper immediately and permanently accessible to all. The fee is about 15% higher for authors belonging to an institution that does not subscribe to the journal.

At the same time we agreed to become a member of “COPE” (the Committee on Publication Ethics: http://www.publicationethics.org.uk/ ), at a fee of £250 per year, on a trial basis until evaluation of its worth. Indeed, the editor-in-chief of BAB, Parviz Shamlou, commented on a number of ethical cases which had to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, and which full members are entitled to submit to COPE.

 

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education (BAMBEd)

The impact factor oscillates broadly around 0.5, with a low of 0.368 in 2007 after a peak of 0.646 in 2006. This is the range expected for an educational journal that publishes ca. 100 articles per year.

As previously reported, ASBMB took over as publisher from Elsevier in 2002, but decided not to continue publication beyond 2006. From January 2007 onwards Wiley are publishing the journal, with a new layout and a new cover. The company became Wiley-Blackwell after its acquisition of Blackwell Publishing in the Spring of 2007. The volumes originally published by HighWire in 2002-2006 are also available on the Wiley-Blackwell Interscience website. Elsevier digitized its initial archive (vol. 1-29, 1972-2001) and continues to offer that commercially through ScienceDirect. However, W. Stalmans has negotiated with Bernard Aleva (the Elsevier Life Science Journals coordinator) IUBMB’s acquisition of co-ownership of that e-archive; for a modest fee of €1,000.

The original Wiley contract contained an unfortunate stipulation about the fate of hard copies and of electronic files at the end of the contract. At W. Stalmans’s request, this was kindly reworded as follows in an amendment dated 29 June 2007: “At termination, the Union shall have the right to the physical inventory of past issues of the Journal as well as production materials (including electronic files) necessary to reproduce back volumes at no cost to the Union except for applicable shipping and transfer costs.”

An Editorial Board dinner meeting at the occasion of the EB/ASBMB meeting in Washington D.C. on April , 2007, was attended by 21 editors plus representatives from IUBMB (A. Azzi & W. Stalmans) and from Wiley-Blackwell (C. Bean & M. Weston)

 

BioFactors

Several long-standing problems with this journal were reported last year. In addition, and in spite of several reminders, the publisher made no effort to rewrite the hopelessly outdated publishing agreement. Several contract breaches by the publisher became also apparent. Accordingly, during its meeting in Salvador da Bahia (Brazil) on 20-21 May 2007, the IUBMB Executive Committee recommended speedy action in order to save the journal. In response, A. Azzi worked out a broad action plan with three major components to restructure the journal:

  1. A change of publisher: after letters of intention on June 20 and July 25, W. Stalmans sent on 31 December 2007 a formal notice of premature contract termination on 31-12-2008. In the meantime other publishers had been discretely approached about their potential interest.
  2. A remodeling of the editorial board: one editor-in-chief, Leopold Flohé, had resigned at the onset of 2007, and the second one, Etsuo Niki, had announced his intended departure in the course of 2008, when he would move from Osaka to Tokyo. At his suggestion, Junji Terao (Tokushima, Japan) was approached and indeed accepted the function. In spite of multiple solicitations by A. Azzi, an additional editor-in-chief in Europe or North America has not been recruited in 2007. Further renewal of the editorial board is planned for 2008.
  3. Attraction of more and better papers (planned for 2008).

 

IUBMB Life

Its impact factor remains well over 2 (2.316 in 2007, up from 2.116 in 2006).
After the reorganization at Taylor and Francis, whereby IUBMB Life was placed under the umbrella of Informa Healthcare, there had been a persistent decrease in the publisher’s service level, as reported repeatedly by both editors-in-chief, A. Azzi & W. Whelan. This forced us to consider Wiley-Blackwell as an alternative publisher. On February 7, 2007, W. Stalmans gave notice to the publishing editor, Matthew Pacey, of IUBMB’s intention to end the current publishing agreement on 31 December 2007. While M. Pacey accepted this, he requested the opportunity to submit also a new tender on behalf of Taylor & Francis. At its meeting in Salvador da Bahia (Brazil) on 20-21 May 2007, the IUBMB Executive Committee unanimously recommended to grant the contract from 1 January 2008 onwards to Wiley-Blackwell, since their bid was financially superior and their performance on BAMBEd had been impeccable.

At the occasion of the IUBMB conference in Salvador da Bahia a series of 12 papers on biochemistry within PABMB was published in issue 4-5 of vol. 59 (2007).
On the other hand, in the course of 2007 a persistent shortage of submissions became evident. A. Azzi, co-editor-in-chief, has efficiently cured that problem by actively soliciting reviews. For that purpose Ms. Yesim Negis, a Turkish post-doc residing in Istanbul, has been recruited part-time, resulting in sufficient review papers to supplement the 2008 issues for several months.

 

Molecular Aspects of Medicine

The new publishing agreement was dated 14 May 2007. It covers the 4-year period 2007-2010, with 3-year renewals thereafter. Important new provisions are:

  • IUBMB is now qualified as “the Publisher’s designated and exclusive scientific partner”. The notice ”An Official Journal of the IUBMB” along with the seal of the Union shall be printed on the cover.
  • IUBMB will be entitled for the first time to a modest royalty. The latter will consist of a fixed sum multiplied by the journal’s impact factor as determined by Thomson Scientific or, as long as the latter is lacking, by Scopus.
  • A scheme for cheap personal subscriptions by members of (Associated) Adhering Bodies can be set up.

The impact factor 2007, as calculated from Scopus data, was as high as 6.520! The first ‘genuine’ impact factor should be released by Thomson Scientific in June 2009.

The journal has been prominently promoted at the IUBMB booth in Salvador da Bahia (May 2007), where 200 copies were distributed with comments (prominently by its editor-in-chief, A. Azzi). Also, a powerpoint show (provided by our Elsevier publisher, Jaap van Harten, and edited by W. Stalmans) has been continuously projected before lectures in the main hall, and occasionally in parallel sessions.

 

Trends in Biochemical Sciences (TiBS)

A merger between the Trends and the Cell Press journals has dominated the events in 2007. The relevant result for IUBMB is the constitution of a new business unit consisting of TiBS as a review journal and Molecular Cell which publishes primary research papers. Thereby Jonathan Tyzack remained in his position of in-house editor at the London TiBS premises, whereas Claire Moulton, the former head of the Trends journals in London, has left Elsevier. Dorit Zuk (based in Cambridge, MA, USA, and since 2003 the Executive Editor of Molecular Cell) became head of the new business unit. However, at the end of July she left Elsevier, and was succeeded by Feng Chen, another Molecular Cell editor, with the title of “Executive editor, molecular biology”. Finally, Lynne Herndon, CEO of Cell Press, became also Publishing Director of the Trends journals. In November 2007 she informed W. Stalmans about her plans to promote uniformity between the Trends and Cell journals, by e.g. generalizing the “Cell” typeface, by putting “Cell press” on the cover, and … for the IUBMB journal, to remove the “TiBS” acronym from the cover. Although all the members of the IUBMB Executive Committee objected strongly to the latter intention, the TiBS logo will disappear from 2008 onwards.

A modest increase in the impact factor released in 2007 (+ 0.52, to 13.863) appears to indicate that the journal’s impact factor is essentially stable, in contrast with the perception in last year’s report.

 

IUBMB-Wiley book series

On April 29, 2007, during the EB/ASBMB meeting in Washington D.C., A. Azzi, W. Stalmans and W. Whelan met the Wiley representative, Darla Henderson. We decided on behalf of IUBMB to enter this project – the IUBMB-Wiley book series – aiming for a total of some 16 books on various topics in the molecular life sciences. A few possible topics were already raised, and Angelo went on to initiate a first volume, to be edited by César Fraga (U.C. at Davis), on “Biochemistry of Natural Compounds of Plant Origin”, which was expected to become available by the end of 2008. The final version of the publishing agreement between IUBMB and Wiley is dated the 28th of June 2007.

The editorial board of the series had been constituted by May 2007. It consists of Angelo Azzi, Willy Stalmans, William Whelan, Naoyuki Taniguchi (Osaka) and Felix Wieland (Heidelberg). A teleconference initially planned for the second half of October 2007 never materialized, and much later it turned out that Darla Henderson had in fact left Wiley.

 

IUBMB/Sigma Maps

A. Azzi and W. Stalmans met Robert Gates (Sigma-Aldrich) in April 2007 during the EB/ASBMB meeting in Washington, D.C. Bob Gates was sympathetic towards Don Nicholson’s wish to enter into a new contract, but wanted to separate such “new work” from a “usage” contract, about the conditions allowing Sigma to make continued use of the existing maps and animations. He gave preference to drafting first the “usage” contract, covering the period 2008-2012. The latter had been nearly finalized at the end of 2007.

Report of the Committee on Symposia (M. Iqbal Parker)

A total of 26 applications were received in both calls (1st April 2007 and 1st September 2007). 20 Applications were approved and 6 applications were unsuccessful.

These approved symposia were held in Chile (1), France (2), Hungary (1), Italy (1), Iran (1), Slovenia (1), UK (2), USA (2), Germany (1), Greece (2), Canary Islands (1), Spain (1), China (1), Portugal (1), and Australia (2). The number of events in the year 2007 was similar to 2006 where 25 applications were received and 19 symposia were supported.

Geographical distribution:
FAOBMB: 3; FASBMB: 0; FEBS: 13; PAMBMB: 3

Despite attempts to get greater participation from FASBMB member countries, no applications were received from this region.

Total monetary value of awards allocated in 2007: US$ 116,000

I. The composition of the IUBMB Committee on Symposia changed after the General Assembly in Kyoto in 2006

Chairman: Parker, M. Iqbal, South Africa

  1. Ascenzi, Paolo, Italy (2006-2012)
  2. Bond, Judith, USA (2006-2012)
  3. Chitnis, Chetan, India (2006-2012)
  4. Crane, Denis, Australia (2006-2012)
  5. Dirheimer, Guy, France (2003-2009)
  6. Ferreira, Sergio, South America (2006-2012)
  7. Guinovart, Joan, Spain (2006-2012)
  8. Lennarz, Bill (William), USA (2003-2009)
  9. Preiss, Jack, USA (2006-2012)
  10. Surolia, Avadhesha , India (2003-2009)
  11. Titanji, Vincent, Cameroon (2006-2012)
  12. Turk, Boris, Slovenia (2006-2012)
  13. Walsh, Michael, Canada (2006-2012)
  14. Wu, Jairui, China (2006-2012)

 

II. The activities supported by the Committee on Symposia and Interest Groups in the year 2007 were as follows:

    1. 5th International Conference on Protein Kinase CK2: “Protein Kinase CKs in Health and Disease”; held in Padova, Italy, from September 13 – 15, 2007; (2007/1); Contact person: Prof. Lorenzo A. Pinna, lorenzo.pinna [at] unipd.it
    2. Mitochondrial Dynamics in Cell Life, Aging and Death; held in Frankfurt, Germany, from August 25-29, 2007; (2007/2); Contact person: Dr. Karin Busch, k.busch [at] em.uni-frankfurt.de
    3. Xth International Symposium on Proteinase Inhibitors and Biological Control: From Single Molecules to Degradomics; held in Slovenia, from June 23-27, 2007; (2007/3); Contact person: Dr. Boris Turk, Boris.Turk [at] IJS.SI
    4. Halophiles-2007 (International Congress Exploring Life at High Ssalinity); held in Colchester, UK, from September 2-6,2007; (2007/4); Contact person: Dr. Terry J. McGenity, TJMcGen [at] essex.ac.uk
    5. Moelcular Mechanisms of Exocytosis and Endocytosis – 6th Junior Academics Meeting, Edinburgh 2007; held in Edinburgh, UK, from April 01 – 03 , 2007; (2007/5); Contact person: Dr. Rolly UK Wiegand, uwiegand [at] ed.ac.uk
    6. Terpnet 2007: Isoprenoid biosynthesis and function in plants, microorganisms and parasites; held in Strasbourg, France, from May 07 – 11, 2007; (2007/6); Contact person: Prof. Thomas J. Bach, Thomas.Bach [at] bota-ulp.u-strasbg.fr
    7. 5th General Meeting of the International Proteolysis Society; held in Rion-Patras, Greece, from October 20 – 24, 2007; (2007/7); Contact person: Prof. Georgia Sotiropoulou, gdsotiro [at] upatras.gr
    8. XIV International Symposium on “Calcium Binding Proteins and Calcium Function in Health and Disease”; held in La Palma, Canary Islands, from May 05 – 09, 2007; (2007/8); Contact Person: Prof. Jose R. Naranjo, naranjo [at] cnb.uam.es
    9. The Miami Winter Symposium “Innate Immunity and Novel Vaccines”; held in Florida, USA, from January 27 – 31, 2007; (2007/10); Contact person: Dr. Sandy Black, sblack [at] miami.edu
    10. 12th Congress of the International Association of Biomedical Gerontology (IABG) “Molecular Mechanisms and Models of Ageing”; held in Spetses Island, Greece, from May 20 – 24, 2007; (2007/11); Contact person: Dr. Stathis Gonos, sgonos [at] eie.gr
    11. 13th European Congress on Biotechnology – 1) Biomass to biofuels and biomaterial -2) Plant – based pharmaceuticals; held in Barcelona, Spain, from Septmeber 17 – 19, 2007; (2007/12); Contact person: Prof Marc Van Montague / Prof Marc Zabeau, christian [at] efb-central.org
    12. The IXth International Meeting on Cholinesterases; held in Suzhou, China, from May 06 -10, 2007; (2007/13); Contact person: Prof. Karl Tsim / Prof. Israel Silman, ixche [at] ust.hk
    13. XIX International Symposium on Glycoconjugates (GLYCO-19); held in Cairns, Australia, from July 15 – 20, 2007; (2007/14); Contact person: Prof Paul Gleeson, pgleeson [at] unimelb.edu.au
    14. Molecular Mechanisms of the Stress ResponseL Genomics, proteomics and networks; held in Budapest, Hungary, from August 23 – 26, 2007; (2007/17); Contact person: Prof Peter Csermely, csermely [at] pushkin.sote.hu
    15. 2nd Workshop on Biophysics of Membrane-active peptides; held in Lisbon, Portugal, from April 01 – 04, 2007; (2007/19); Contact person: Dr. Miguel Castanho, castanho [at] fc.ul.pt
    16. 2nd Symposium Nutrition, Oxygen Biology and Medicine; held in Paris, France, from April 11 – 13, 2007; (2007/20); Contact person: J. Cillard, josiane.cillard [at] univ-rennes1.fr
    17. III Neurotoxicty Society Meeting “Neurochemical mechanisms for neurodegenerative); held in Chile, from March 23 – 25, 2007; (2007/21); Contact person: Prof. Juan Segura Aguilar, jseura [at] med.uchile.cl
    18. Proton Transfer in Biological and Model Systems; held in Colorado, USA, July 29 – August 03, 2007; (2007/22); Contact person: Dr. Colin Wraight / Dr. Robert Gennis, cwraight [at] uiuc.edu
    19. XXIIIrd International Conference on Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology; held in Melbourne, Australia, from July 01 – 06, 2007; (2007/24); Contact person: Prof. Ian Macreadie, ian.macreadie [at] csiro.au
    20. 9th Iranian Congress of Biochemistry and 2nd International Congress of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; held in Shiraz, Iran, from October 29 – November  01, 2007; (2007/26); Contact person: Dr A.A Owji / Dr. S.M.B Tabei, biochem [at] sums.ac.ir

M. Iqbal Parker
Chairman of the Committee on Symposia
June 2008

Report of the Member for IUBMB Conferences and Congresses (Knut-Jan Andersen)

Effort has been directed to planning future IUBMB Conferences and Congresses.

These include:

  • The 10th IUBMB Conference: “Infectious diseases: Biochemistry of the parasites, vectors and hosts”, 21-25. May 2007, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil was a joint meeting with the 36th Annual Meeting of the Brazilian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The scientific program included 32 symposia, 27 conferences, 5 short communication sessions and 1572 posters. There were 2154 participants, with a large number of young scientists (922 graduate and 516 undergraduate students).
  • The Young Scientist Forum was organized as part of the conference. This was planned in close collaboration with Dr Alicia Kowaltowski and her collaborators. The selection committee (H. Chaimovich, D. Foguel, A. Zaha (Brazil), and from IUBMB J-H. Weil, J.J. de Pont, and K-J. Andersen) received 137 applications and was able to select the 20 final, highly qualified, candidates based on their education, publications, motivation, abstract of the work to be presented, and also taking into consideration the difficulties in developing countries. The applicants originated from 33 different countries, and averaged 30.6 ears of age.
  • The 11th IUBMB Conference will be organized as a joint conference with the 33rd FEBS Congress, June 28 – July 3, 2008, in Athens, Greece. The Peace & Friendship Stadium was first planned as the conference/congress venue but this was changed in April 2008 by the local organizing committee to the Megaron Athens International Conference Center which is located in the centre of Athens.  The theme for the Congress/Conference will be “Biochemistry of Cell regulation. During the past year I have, together with Adam Szewczyk, Israel Pecht, and Daniela Corda from FEBS, visited Athens 3 times for site inspections and meetings with the local organizers at all levels. During these meeting all major as well as minor details for the conference/congress have been discussed and agreed upon. This also includes the planning of, and contribution from IUBMB, with respect to the Young Scientists’ Forum being planned preceding the Congress/Conference. In addition I have been continuously communicating with the organisers at all levels and the representatives from FEBS by phone and via Email.
  • The Young Scientist Forum (8th FEBS YSF), June 26-28, 2008 – Hotel Poseidon Resort, Loutraki, Greece. The Young Scientists’ Forum has been planned in close collaboration with Ioannis Drikos and his collaborators in Greece, and Claudina Pousada and Daniela Corda from FEBS. About 100 young scientists from Europe and 25 (IUBMB) from other countries will participate. The selection committee for IUBMB fellows (Constantin Drainas and Nikos Karamanos from Geece, and from IUBMB J-H. Weil, J.J. de Pont, and K-J. Andersen) received 60 applications and was able to select the 25 final, highly qualified, candidates based on their education, publications, motivation, and abstract of the work to be presented. The applicants originated from 18 different countries, and averaged 30 ears of age.
  • The 21st IUBMB International Congress and the 12th FAOBMB Congress of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, August 7 – 8, 2009, Shanghai, China. The Shanghai International Convention Center (SICC), with capacity for 5000 participants, has been selected as the congress venue. . The Congress Theme is: “Biomolecules for Quality of Life”. The Congress, which will be organised by the Chinese Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Chinese Society of Cell Biology, will have high level supports such as Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Engineering, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and Shanghai Municipal Government in addition to 5 ministries. I visited Shanghai in January 2008 for meetings with the local organizing committee and its subcommittees. The total number of invited speakers will be approximately 180 with a geographical distribution of approximately 80 from English speaking countries (USA, Canada, UK, and Australia), 40 from Asia, and 60 from the rest of the world. It is also aimed for a good distribution of speakers with respect to gender, - more than 30% female speakers! The web-page, http://www.iubmb-faobmb2009.cn/#, will be continuously updated. I have had continuous contact with the organisers via Email being informed about most major decisions and progress in the planning. However, a close follow up from IUBMB as well as possible professional assistance with respect to organisation will be vital for this event. This also includes planning of the Young Scientists’ Program preceding the Congress, organised by Dr. Professor Jinqiu Zhou at the Shanghai Institute of Biological Science.
  • IUBMB Special Meeting: Mechanisms of Plant Resistance to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses: Biochemical and Molecular Aspects, Marrakech, Morocco, 23-25 April 2009. The idea of supporting an IUBMB Special Meeting in Morocco in connection with the Annual Meeting of the Moroccan Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology was first launched by Professor Weil. Together with him I had the pleasure communicating with our friends in Morocco giving advice and help when preparing their application. The application was accepted and they were given the go ahead in February 2008. The meeting will be organized by the Moroccan Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with the support of IUBMB and FASBMB. I have been in continuous e-mail contact with Professor Khalid Fares, the chairman of the organizing committee, discussing the budget, the possibility to extend the meeting to a 4-day meeting including a work-shop sponsored by FEBS, and preparing promotional material for Athens. The meeting web-site, http://www.smbbm.org/specialMeeting2009/home.html, has been launched and will be continuously updated.
  • OzBio2010 - The 12th IUBMB Conference and 21st FAOBMB Conference: “The molecules of life: from discovery to Biotechnology”, September 26 – October 1, 2010, Melbourne, Australia. The conference will take place in the new Melbourne Convention Centre which is presently under construction and scheduled for completion in mid 2009. I have had regular contact with the organisers and Professor Phillip Nagley and Professor Nick Hoogenraad receiving regular reports on the planning process. The web-page, http://www.ozbio2010.com/, will be continuously updated.
  • The 13th IUBMB Conference, 2011.  Following the call for applicants to host the 13th IUBMB Conference in 2011 two applications have been received. The applications will be discussed and it will also be decided where the 2011 Conference will be take place when the IUBMB Executive Committee meet in June this year.
  • The 22nd IUBMB International Congress and the 37th FEBS Congress of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, June 23 – 28, 2012, Seville, Spain.
    Following the decision by FEBS that their 37th Congress should be co-organized with the 22nd IUBMB International Congress in Seville, Spain in 2012, I have continuously been informed and communicated with Professor Miguel A. De La Rosa. The collaboration and planning of the joint congress in 2012 has also been discussed with the representatives from FEBS during our visits to Athens.

Report of the Education Committee (Susan Hamilton)

1. Educational activities funded

The educational activities supported in 2007 are summarised below. Total sponsorship by IUBMB was ~US$28 000.

    1. A 5-day hands on workshop on Bioinformatics sponsored by FAOBMB, IUBMB and UNESCO was held at the Vietnam National University and COLTECH,  Hanoi.  The workshop was attended by 30 teachers and postgraduate students and an additional 60 for beamed lectures and 24 local participants for plenary lectures.  APBioNet helped with the software tools, and COLTECH supported building the PC cluster and renovations needed to run the workshop properly.
    2. A symposium, Education in Structural Biology and Biotechnology, was held as part of the XXXVI Annual Meeting of SbbQ/10th IUBMB Conference in Salvador Brazil.  At the same conference a workshop on Concept Inventories was held.  Both events attracted audiences of more than one hundred.
    3. A workshop, Science Teaching in the Age of the Internet, was held at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, attended by ~100, most of whom were faculty members.
    4. Two education events were held as part of the 19th FAOBMB Conference in Seoul, Korea: a Concept Inventory workshop and a symposium on Biotechnology Education. 

 

2. Membership of the Education Committee

The composition of the Education Committee for 2007 was: 

    1. Susan Hamilton (Australia) 2006 – 2009

    2. Trevor Anderson (South Africa) 2005 – 2008

    3. Ellis Bell    (USA) 2005 – 2011

    4. Steve Dahms (USA) 2005 – 2011

    5. Manuel Costa (Portugal) 2007 – 2010

    6. Leopoldo de Meis (Brazil; ex officio)

    7. Judith Voet (USA; ex officio)

    8. Donald Voet (USA; ex officio)

Report on the IUBMB Website (Peter Ott)

The website of IUBMB is used to spread continuously updated information on all the aspects of IUBMB and it’s activities. The site has an increasing popularity as can be seen from the summary overview of the access statistics for the years 1999 – 2007 shown in the table below.

 

Year

Page Views

Visits

Visitors

 

Total

Average
per day

Average
per visit

Total

Average
per day

Total

One-time

Multiple

 

1999

37795

103

2.66

14183

38

9653

7996

1657

 

2000

89559

244

2.67

33546

91

22654

18968

3686

 

2001

89014

243

2.34

38065

104

27365

23656

3709

 

2002

102237

280

2.16

47396

129

34668

30094

4574

 

2003

108642

297

2.09

51954

142

36645

31184

5461

 

2004

126504

345

2.21

57246

156

38035

32593

5442

 

2005

185852

509

2.49

74557

204

45847

38782

7062

 

2006

208348

570

2.16

96642

264

60698

51375

9323

 

2007

197860

542

2.09

94815

259

48775

39897

8878

 

 

The most requested pages, besides the “Homepage” have been those with information about meetings and congresses, symposia, education workshops, the Wood-Whelan fellowships, the Standard for the PhD Degree, the Journals of IUBMB and last but not least the list of all the (Associate) Adhering Bodies with contact addresses including e-mail contacts.