president ShioyaThe Society for Biotechnology, Japan (SBJ) was first established as the Osaka Brewing Society in 1923. As a result of the many historical and memorable events of the society, the present name has been established as Nippon Seibutsu Kogakkai in Japanese in 1992 and the Society for Biotechnology, Japan in English in 2003. We have a long history of more than eighty years. In 2002, the 80th anniversary of this society was celebrated in its birthplace, Osaka. As indicated by its original name, the Osaka Brewing Society, this society initially consisted of scientists and engineers involved in the production of alcoholic beverages such as sake, beer and wine and fermented foods such as miso and soy sauce. Afterwards, concomitant with the development of the fermentation industry to bioindustry in Japan, the scope of this society was widened to cover biotechnologies related to not only microbial production but also enzymes, bioactive materials, plants, animal cells and the environment. Currently, with the coming age of biotechnology in the 21st century, the society intends to cover interesting fields such as postgenomics, nanobiotechnology and medical/pharmaceutical biotechnology including regenerative medicine, cell and tissue engineering, and bioartificial organs.

In terms of regional viewpoints, the society started as a local community in Osaka, , but now we have six branches spread throughout Japan, and we have already reached out to other Asian countries. Close relationships with other biotechnology-related academic societies in many countries such as South Korea and Thailand have also been formed. We would like to develop a relationship with similar societies in the USA, Europe, and countries in other regions.

We have been publishing two monthly journals: Seibutsu-kogaku Kaishi in Japanese and the Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering (JBB) in English. JBB has been devoted to not only society members but also scientists and engineers throughout the world. The impact factor (IF) of the journal was 1.78 in 2007 and we expect the IF to increase further with the support of the journal’s reader.

Another important activity of the society is the annual meeting held each autumn. Typically, more than 600 papers are presented and more than 1500 scientists and engineers participate. The participation of international members is always welcome and we often have many participants from the Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering (KSBB). We also have many presentations in English.

As president of the SBJ, I would like to emphasize again that we shall make every effort to improve JBB and to make it a significant source of biotechnology-related information for the academic and industrial communities. I also promise that the annual society meeting will provide many chances to discuss biotechnology-related problems with other scientists and engineers in Japan. For these, I will do my best. Whenever you have an idea or comment to contribute to this society, please do not hesitate to contact me. I sincerely appreciate the understanding and cooperation of everyone associated with this society.

June, 2007

Suteaki Shioya
The Society for Biotechnology, Japan

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