Portuguese Biochemical Society

SPB Foundation


The Portuguese Biochemical Society (SPB) was founded in 1957 as an independent section of the Lisbon Society of Medical Sciences, with the mission of promoting the teaching, learning and research of biochemistry in Portugal.
The society went through various stages of reorganization until obtaining regular financial support, a key factor for its development and establishment as a prestigious scientific institution in Portugal. In October 1972, the 4th National Congress of Biochemistry was held in Lourenço Marques (now Maputo), and a group of biochemists, led by Professor Francisco Carvalho Guerra (UP), elected for the first time a Directive Committee of the SPB in a general assembly. Professor Francisco Carvalho Guerra was elected President, Professor Arsélio Pato de Carvalho (UC) Vice-President, and Professor Deodata Carvalho (Instituto Rocha Cabral) General Secretary. Professor Ruy Pinto (Instituto Rocha Cabral), who worked with Hans Krebs, also participated in the organization of the 4th National Congress of Biochemistry. The congress in 1972 might be considered a re-foundation moment of the SPB, adopting then a modern organizational structure, similar to other Biochemical Societies. Since then, the scope has evolved from a focus on clinical biochemistry to a broader scope on general biochemistry. This was followed by the establishment of SPB as an autonomous society on February 18th, 1975. During this period, the Directive Committees of SPB had the important mission of stimulating the growth and consolidation of SPB and biochemistry in Portugal, by promoting the affiliation and participation of young scientists, the merger of small scientific societies interested in Biochemistry (Plant Physiology, Biotechnology and Genetics among others), and the organization of a National Congress of Biochemistry in English language, including the participation of international researchers.
SPB recognition by the international community led to the organization of Portuguese and Spanish Biochemical Societies joint meetings and the first FEBS meeting in Portugal in 1985 (organized by Professor Claudina Rodrigues Pousada, member of the FEBS Executive Committee, and Chair of the FEBS Working Group on the Careers of Young Scientists) and later the involvement of Portuguese delegates as members of the federation committees (Education, Advanced courses, Fellowships, Working Group on Women in Science).
SPB has two affiliated organizations, the Portuguese Society of Plant Biology (SPBP) and the Portuguese Biophysical Society (SPBf). The representatives of these societies constitute the Consulting Committee.