Biological Inorganic Chemistry
Biological inorganic chemistry is a field of science that embraces the principles of biology and inorganic chemistry. This field has important implications for many other sciences, ranging from medicine to the environment. Furthermore, studies of the roles of metal ions in biological systems often involve the development of relevant chemistry, new methodologies of investigation, and the application of advanced physical techniques.
History and Mission
The Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (SBIC) was created in 1995 based on discussions within the Steering Committee of the European Science Foundation Program "The Chemistry of Metals in Biological Systems." C. David Garner became the first President (1995-1998). He was succeeded by Elizabeth C. Theil (1998-2000), Alfred X. Trautwein (2000-2002), Harry B. Gray (2002-2004), and Fraser Armstrong (2004-2006). Simultaneously with the creation of SBIC, the Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry was established with Ivano Bertini as the first Chief Editor. JBIC Volume 1 was published by Springer in 1996.
SBIC was established to advance research and education in the field of biological inorganic chemistry, and to promote popular, industrial, and academic understanding of the field. In addition to publishing JBIC, SBIC finances training courses, workshops, and conferences to facilitate exchange of information between scientists involved in the research and teaching of biological inorganic chemistry. Although the International Conferences on Biological Inorganic Chemistry (ICBICs) predated SBIC by many years, the relationship between the two has grown; SBIC is now considered the "hosting organization" of the ICBICs.
2007 marked the first year of our SBIC Early Career Award, to be presented biennially at the International Conference on Biological Inorganic Chemistry to an early career scientist who has already accomplished distinguished research in biological inorganic chemistry.
SBIC also supports graduate student participation in ICBICs by providing Student Travel Grants for poster presentations at ICBICs. Twenty-six grants of US$500 each were awarded for participation in ICBIC 13 in 2007.
A renaissance in inorganic chemistry, through its impact on modern biology, is illustrated by the juxtaposition of a heme protein motif with the subject of the Italian renaissance painting The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli (1444-1510).
Venus, representing the life force, is depicted as rising from the sea, the origin of life to which the inorganic elements were essential. The Society's motto "Bringing Inorganic Chemistry to Life" and the Botticelli logo emphasize the importance of the synergism between science and art that sustains creativity and enriches civilization.