About ASBMB

The Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) unites biochemists and molecular biologists from around Australia. The Society is devoted to promoting research, new developments and education in biochemistry and molecular biology.

 

Profile

StructureASBMB holds a biennial stand-alone Society meeting that features overseas plenary presentations, Society speciality lectures, poster sessions, 3-minute poster presentations and an E/MCR mini-symposium. In alternating years, ASBMB coordinates the national scientific conference ComBio, which is run in conjunction with other societies. The programs feature prominent international speakers alongside a range of high calibre Australian presenters. Meeting themes cover a wide range of topics to appeal across the spectrum of interests of biochemists and molecular biologists. At ComBio, young scientists are given the opportunity to present their work, and all delegates benefit from networking during scientific and social events. Attendees learn about cutting-edge technology at the trade exhibition run by ASBMB’s Sustaining Members.

ASBMB publishes the Australian Biochemist, a scientific, educational and informative magazine, three times a year.   The Australian Biochemist is full of useful information to keep members up-to-date with relevant scientific and topical news in Australia and abroad.

ASBMB recognises excellence by providing several competitive Medals and Awards for members at varying stages of their scientific careers. Travel fellowships are also awarded to outstanding PhD students and postdoctoral researchers to attend international conference and to further their scientific development.

ASBMB is involved in a range of activities which include supporting Special Interest Groups (SIGs); sponsoring symposia, workshops, conferences (through SIGs and State Branches); and school science competitions. The Society sends representatives to Science Meets Parliament Day to put forward the opinions of its constituents to Federal politicians in Canberra. See the News from the States 2018 report to find out about our state-based activities.

ASBMB is a Constituent Society of the Federation of Asian and Oceanian Biochemists and Molecular Biologists (FAOBMB), and, through the Australian Academy of Science, is an Adhering Body of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB). ASBMB participates as an active member of these organisations, hosting FAOBMB/IUBMB scientific conferences from time to time in Australia. There are ASBMB representatives involved in both parent societies. ASBMB is a member of Science & Technology Australia (STA), Australia’s peak body in science and technology.

 

Mission Statement

The Society aims to advance the science and profession of both biochemistry and molecular biology by the maintenance of standards in the practice, research and teaching of these sciences by:

    • promoting, supporting and facilitating research
    • facilitating the dissemination of information relating to research and teaching among professional biochemists and molecular biologists and students of these sciences by means of publications, by conducting conferences, seminars and lectures at local, national and international levels, and by facilitating interaction between Australian and international biochemists and molecular biologists
    • advising appropriate government, industrial and educational bodies on matters relating to research and teaching in biochemistry and molecular biology
    • informing and promoting among the Australian community an appreciation of the roles of biochemistry and molecular biology, not only in the maintenance and improvement of living standards in both the Australian and international communities through its research contributions to agricultural, chemical, food, medical and pharmaceutical sciences, but also by enhancing the economy of the Australian nation through research initiatives and the development of innovative technology

 

History

The Society was established in 1955 as the Australian Biochemical Society. It underwent a name change to incorporate molecular biology in 1990.

A full history of the Society was published in IUBMB Life in 2010 and is freely available.

 

What are Biochemistry and Molecular Biology?

Biochemistry and molecular biology represent the study of the structures and processes that form the foundation for all living matter. They draw on techniques from biology, chemistry and physics, providing a key interface between these fields. Biochemists and molecular biologists investigate all forms of life, such as viruses, bacteria, yeast, fungi, plants and animals. Much of this research examines life at the cellular and subcellular level.

The field is progressing at a breathtaking rate. In 1953, the double-helical structure of DNA (the storage molecule for inherited biological information) was discovered. Only 50 years later, the complete human genetic sequence was determined and the significance of the entire code in terms of cell and tissue function is now being uncovered. For example, we have learnt many new details about genes involved in human disease, providing important insights that lead to the development of treatments and cures. The possibilities of discovery in the field continue to expand.

Biochemistry and molecular biology have important applications in the fields of medicine, agriculture and industry. Research is conducted at universities, institutes, hospitals, and other locations. Biochemists and molecular biologists work to understand the production, structure, organisation and activity of the molecules of life. Deviations from these processes are often of interest to researchers, as both causes and potential cures for disease.