The Croatian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (HDBMB) is a non-profit scientific and professional organisation gathering experts interested in biochemistry and molecular biology and other related sciences within the frame of research, education, and application.
HDBMB is a member of the Federation of European Societies of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (FEBS), the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB) and the Croatian Society of Natural Sciences.
The Society is managed by the Executive Board (president and eight members) elected biannually at the Society's Assembly. The Assembly also elects the Advisory Board and the Court of Honour every two years.
The first association of Croatian biochemists was established in 1957 as the Section of Biochemistry within the Croatian Chemical Society. In 1976, the Section was renamed to the Croatian Biochemical Society. The Society acted under that name until 2003, when it was changed to the Croatian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
The Section, and later the Society, joined the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) in 1965 and the International Union of Biochemistry (IUB), later International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB), in 1977. Until 1992, membership in these international associations was through the Union of the Chemical (and later Biochemical) Societies of Yugoslavia. Since 1992, our Society is a regular member of both international associations.
The Society is managed by the Executive Board (president and eight members) elected biannually at the Society's Assembly. The presidents were Elsa Reiner (1976-79, 1987-89), Ljubinka Vitale (1979-81), Berislav Pende (1981-83), Milivoj Popović (1983-85), Željko Kućan (1985-87, 1991-97), Mirna Flögel-Mršić (1989-91, 1997-2001), Karmela Barišić (2001-2005), Jadranka Varljen (2005-2009), Jerka Dumić (2009-2013), and Zrinka Kovarik (2013-).
The main purpose of the Society is to promote and develop research and education in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology through the organisation of scientific meetings, workshops and seminars, promotion of basic research, support of science education at all levels, and facilitation of contacts between Croatian molecular life scientists and colleagues from abroad.
The activities of the HDBMB Science and Society Committee are focused on the promotion of molecular life sciences among the general public and improvement of communication with all relevant public institutions, as well as on raising awareness about the ethical, legal and social issues.
The HDBMB Professional Nomenclature Committee was established in order to provide recommendations for uniform biochemistry and molecular biology nomenclature in Croatian. The English-Croatian dictionary is being prepared in cooperation with the Croatian Microbiological Society.
With the purpose to promote the most exceptional scientific and social activities of the Society's members, the HDBMB issues the Annual Award to young scientists for excellence in scientific achievements and the HDBMB Award for outstanding lifetime achievement in scientific, educational and/or professional activities, devoted participation in HDBMB activities, as well as affirmation and public promotion of molecular life sciences.
Headquarter of the Society is in Zagreb, while territorial branches exist in Rijeka, Osijek, and Split which promote the Society’s activities in the local communities.
Until 1992, the Society organised international (FEBS Meetings), regional (Alpe-Adria, Balkan Biochemical and Biophysical meetings) and national meetings in collaboration with the institutes and universities from Croatia and other Yugoslav republics. In 1993, the Society started to organise annual meetings (since 2000 biannual) with international participation. The meetings were held in Zagreb (1993, 1996, 1997, 2000), Opatija (1994, 2010, 2012), Brač (1995), Bizovačke toplice (1998), Bjelolasica (2004), Vodice (2006), Osijek (2008), Zadar (2014) and Split (2016), and occasionally provided advanced courses on important topics such as bioinformatics, new analytical techniques or continuous education for secondary level teachers. Many special events have been inspired by anniversaries, Nobel prizes or other occasions worthy of appreciation. In year 2016 HDBMB celebrates its 40th anniversary. Various activities will be held during the whole year with an aim of popularisation of science and education. The HDBMB2016 congress will be held in Split in June.
In 2001, the Croatian Biochemical Society initiated a gathering of all Croatian societies focused on molecular life sciences with the primary goal of promoting interdisciplinary interactions between life scientists, and organising the 1st Croatian Congress on Molecular Life Sciences (1st CCOMLIS was held in 2002 in Opatija).
In 2012, the Croatian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology together with the Hungarian Biochemical Society and Slovenian Biochemical Society) organised the FEBS 3+Meeting “From molecules to life and back” (joint congress supported by the FEBS3+ Programme), held in Opatija which attracted 350 participants from all over Europe. The second FEBS 3+ Meeting "Molecules of life" was organised by these three societies and the Serbian Biochemical Society in September 2015 in Portorož, Slovenia. Next meeting is planned to be held in Hungary in 2018.
During year 2016 HDBMB proudly celebrated its 40th Anniversary through various activities. The Society organized series of lectures for high school and university students in order to popularize research in biochemistry and molecular biology. PDB poster Molecular Machinery depicting hundreds of crystal structures of protein and important macromolecules that make up a living cell was translated to Croatian language and printed for pupils and students. Priroda (Nature), Croatian journal for popularization of natural sciences and Croatian scientific journal Periodicum biologorum dedicated special issues to celebration of 40th Anniversary of the HDBMB.
In the period 1974-2004, the Society published the bulletin Informacije twice a year to supplement information given in the FEBS Bulletin. The editors of Informacije were Elsa Reiner (1974-80, 1988-92), Ljubinka Vitale (1981-87), Karmela Barišić (1993), and Vladimir Mrša (2001-2004). Since 2004, the Society electronically disseminates Informacije iz Tajništva HDBMB, which contains information on meetings, summer schools, courses, lectures, seminars and other events of interest.
Annual reports about the activities of the Society were published in the journals Croatica Chemica Acta and Periodicum biologorum. Articles covering jubilees (30th Anniversary of the HDBMB, 40th Anniversary of the HDBMB) and achievements of distinguished members of the Society were published occasionally in books of abstracts from Society meetings.
Members of the Society actively participate in FEBS committees and working groups, i.e. Slobodan Barbarić (FEBS Advance Committee, 1990-1993), Karmela Barišić (FEBS Education Committee, 2009-2012), Jerka Dumić (FEBS Working Group on Integration, 2010-2014, chair since 2017), Tihomir Balog (FEBS Fellowship Committee, 2012-2016), Oliver Vugrek (FEBS Fellowship Committee, 2017-2020) and Zrinka Kovarik (FEBS Advanced Courses Committee (2015-2018).