The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - founded in 1955 - unites biochemists and molecular biologists in 77 countries that belong to the Union as an Adhering Body or Associate Adhering Body which is represented as a biochemical society, a national research council or an academy of sciences. The Union is devoted to promoting research and education in biochemistry and molecular biology throughout the world and gives particular attention to areas where the subject is still in its early development. It achieves this in several ways.
Every three years the Union sponsors an International Congress of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Co-sponsorship of these Congresses by Regional Organizations of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is an increasing trend. These Congresses are major international meetings where current research in all fields of biochemistry and molecular biology is considered. Thousands of individual research projects are presented in poster sessions and leading investigators from many nations survey their fields and describe their own research in symposia and plenary lectures. Since 1992 IUBMB has also sponsored IUBMB Conferences and Special Meetings, held in the years between the International Congresses.
The IUBMB provides financial support for international symposia on biochemical and molecular biological research topics of current interest. It organizes or sponsors workshops, symposia and training sessions on biochemical and molecular biological education and provides free textbooks and journals to training institutions in developing nations. The Union also funds short-term fellowships for younger biochemists and molecular biologists to travel to other institutions to perform research not possible in their own laboratories, and provides Travel Fellowships for young scientists to attend its Congresses. Sponsorship of meetings and fellowships is restricted to regions that belong to the IUBMB.
As well as reaching biochemists through its own meetings, the IUBMB works closely with the four regional organizations that unite the biochemical societies of Asia and Oceania (Federation of Asian and Oceanian Biochemists and Molecular Biologists - FAOBMB), Europe (Federation of European Biochemical Societies - FEBS) the Americas (Pan-American Association for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - PABMB) and Africa (Federation of African Societies of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - FASBMB). Indeed all four are linked formally with the IUBMB as Associated Regional Organizations and three of them receive substantial financial support from the Union. The International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, the International Society for Neurochemistry and the International Organization for Free Radical Research are also Associated Organizations of IUBMB.
Reaching individual biochemists is also the purpose of another very important function of the IUBMB, that of publishing news, reviews, information, original research and nomenclature. Trends in Biochemical Sciences (TiBS) is seen monthly by over 100,000 readers, keeping them informed of research progress across the broad field of biochemistry and molecular biology, as well as of news of meetings, people and biochemical events. Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry publishes original research findings and reviews in the expanding domain of the practical applications of the subject. IUBMB Life expedites the publication of short communications, identified by their novelty and the need for urgent dissemination. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education is dedicated to publishing articles, reviews and editorials to assist the teaching of biochemistry and molecular biology to science and medical students throughout the world. BioEssays, co-sponsored by the IUBMB and seven other ICSU biological Unions, is the monthly current-awareness journal that displays progress across the fields of molecular, cellular and developmental biology. BioFactors publishes reviews and original communications on growth factors and regulatory substances. Molecular Aspects of Medicine publishes reviews that aim to link clinicians and biomedical scientists.
The IUBMB is one of 26 Scientific Unions affiliated with the International Council of Science (ICSU), an umbrella organization for scientists worldwide. ICSU was created in 1931 to encourage international scientific activity, to affirm the rights of scientists without regard to race, religion, political philosophy, ethnic origin, sex or language, to join in international scientific affairs for the benefit of mankind. The IUBMB has been a member of ICSU since 1955 (until 1991 as IUB). The IUBMB representative serves as a member of the General Assembly of ICSU and ex-officio takes part in the work of the ICSU working group of the Biological Sciences. Through ICSU the IUBMB has been able to generate broad and often highly productive contacts with other international bodies, including some joint programs.