The first Congress of Biochemistry was held in 1949 in Cambridge, UK, and was inspired by German-born British biochemist Sir Hans Adolf Krebs as a means of bringing together biochemists who had been separated by World War II from collaborating. At the time, biochemistry was blossoming as a discipline and was seeking its own recognition as a Union within the International Council for Science (ISC). The Congress was a first step to recognize Biochemistry as a separate discipline and entity. At the final session of this congress, the International Committee of Biochemistry was set up with 20 members from 14 countries with the goal obtaining from the ISC ‘recognition as the international body representative of biochemistry, with a view to the formal constitution of an International Union of Biochemistry as soon as possible’.
Discussions continued over the next few years, and by the third Congress of Biochemistry, which took place in Brussels in 1955, the International Union of Biochemistry (IUB) was formed and officially admitted to the ISC (formally ICSU).
In 1991, the IUB changed its name to the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB).