History

IBSThe Indian Biophysical Society (IBS) founded in 1965, has grown over the years. Presently, it is holding 805 Life-members from all parts of the country. The interdisciplinary nature of the society attracted scientists from not only Phyiscs, Chemistry and Biology, but also from other related areas too such as Biotechnology, Bioinformatics and Medicine.

To brief on the historical evolution of this august body, the first IBS Executive Council (EC) comprised of Dr. D. M. Bose as its first President, N. N. Dasgupta and B. Mukherjee as Vice-Presidents, N. N. Saha as the Secretary, B. D. Nagchaudhuri as the Treasurer, and A. K. Saha, M. N. Rao and S. N. Chatterjee as Members of the Council. The Memorandum of Association drawn by the first EC and the Articles of Association of the IBS spelt out the regulations of the Society.

Though the society was very active for first few years, it suffered a temporary setback from 1986-1988. Yet, it got revived by instrumental senior members like Prof. Girjesh Govil, Dr. B. B.Singh, Prof. R. Srinivasan, Prof. Anil Saran and others. Since then, IBS symposia were hosted by different universities and research institutions all around the country. Thus, IBS gained a national character and today it stands tall and is one of the most active scientific societies of the country, with equal opportunity to all researchers to present their work and discuss. While deliberating on the venues of the IBS Symposia and the possible EC Members, special care is always taken to see that geographically all parts of India are covered and represented as well as all the major disciplines under the umbrella of biophysics research are discussed. The IBS Presidents elected during this period were Late R. Srinivasan (University of Madras; 1989-91), B. B. Singh (BARC; 1991-1993), M. Vijayan (IISc; 1993-1195), D. Balasubramanian (CCMB; 1995-97), Girjesh Govil (TIFR; 1997-99), Anil Saran (TIFR; 1999-2001), Rabi Majumdar (University of Calcutta; 2001-2003), R. V. Hosur (TIFR; 2003-2005), K. P. Mishra (BARC; 2005-2007), N. R. Jagannathan (AIIMS; 2007-2009), Ch. Mohan Rao (CCMB; 2009-2011) and presently myself.

During the last two decades, there has been a boom in biophysical research in India, spreading to all parts of the country. IBS has established cordial relations with the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and the International Union of Pure & Applied Physics (IUPAB). The President, IBS is a Member of the INSA National Committee for IUPAB, which also helps the process of continuing cooperation between these three important bodies. The most important outcome of this was winning the bid to hold the XIII International Biophysics Congress in New Delhi in 1999 and three of its satellite symposia organized in Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai, respectively. These events organized jointly by IBS, INSA and IUPAB put the IBS on a stronger footing even increasing the number of life-members of the society significantly.

I may also mention two important workshops sponsored by IUPAB and supported by IBS. International Workshop on Education and Capacity Building in Biophysics: Needs of the Asian African Region held in Roorkee, in 2003; and International Workshop on NMR in Biological Systems held at TIFR Mumbai, in 2009.

More recently, Prof. Girjesh Govil was instrumental in establishing a platform for cooperation between the scientists belonging to different countries in the Asian region. This gave birth to Asian Biophysics Association (ABA), with its principal members from Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. ABA will now include all eligible Asian countries providing a greater scope for cooperation between scientists in the Asian region. The most important outcome of this effort is in winning the bid to hold the ABA Conference in New Delhi during January/February 2011, which was successfully organized jointly by IBS, INSA and AIIMS. Many appreciations to Prof. N.R. Jagannathan, who had put up a wonderful scientifc program. Both the oral and poster presentations were of high quality and the conference was a great success.

During the last three years, the organizers of IBS symposia have contributed substantially to the IBS Corpus. I am proud to say that IBS, today, has sufficient money in its Corpus.

I should recall that IBS had established two partial travel awards in memory of Profs. J. C. Bose and G.N.Ramachandran, for the benefit of life-members of IBS to participate in IUPAB Congress. Prof. J.C. Bose Travel Award is given to a senior scientist above 35 years of age, while Prof. G. N. Ramachandran Travel Award is given to a junior scientist below 35 years of age.

IBS had established an award for Young Scientist in 2006 to commemorate the memory of Prof. Ratna Phadke, a distinguished scientist in the field of Molecular Biophysics, out of an endowment of Rs 50,000. This “Professor Ratna Phadke Award” is given to a young scientist below 35 years, during the IBS Annual Symposium. Besides, there are five best poster awards in memory of five distinguished scientists D.M. Bose, N.N. Dasgupta, N.N. Saha, A.R. Gopala Ayengar and K.S. Korgoankar. These are given to young scientists below 35 years based on their poster/oral presentation during the IBS Annual Symposium.

An important achievement of the IBS, was, starting the G. N. Ramachandran (GNR) Memorial Lectures shortly after GNR passed away. Distiniguished scientists are invited to deliver this lecture every year during the IBS Annual Symposium. The first GNR Memorial Lecture was delivered during the IBS-2002 at the University of Madras, where GNR started his pioneering work. The first lecture was delivered by Venkatraman Ramakrishnan from UK. Other GNR Memorial Lecturers were the following: Wim Hol (2003), Hartmut Michel (2004), Kurt Wuthrich (2005), Richard R. Ernst (2006), Seiji Ogawa (2007), Tom Blundell (2008), Martin Karplus (2009), Robert Austin (2010) and Ada E. Yonath (2011). All the GNR Memorial Lecturers have been made Honorary Fellows of the Indian Biophysical Society.

Our honorary GNR lecturer of this year is Prof. Christopher M. Dobson, F.R.S, from Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK, who would deliver a talk on "Protein Misfolding and its links with Human Disease". This talk would certainly be highly beneficial to the research community present at the symposium, like all past lectures.

As a vision for the future, keeping up with the trend of expanding the society and vouching for knowledge sharing in research community, I hope that the entire society work as a team towards newer dimensions in bringing together ideas, innovations and developments from various enthusiastic researchers, and bring them to a common platform to rise together. This would not only cater to the growth of scientific research, but also towards the scientific needs of our country in a bigger sense.  

KVR CHARY
Past President, IBS
11-11-2011