Our history

The International Union of Microbiological Societies was founded in 1927 as the International Society for Microbiology.

lts first President was Nobel Laureate and Director of the Pasteur Institute in Brussels (Belgium), Jules Bordet. The first International Congress for Microbiology was held in Paris in 1930. At the time of the 10th International Con¬gress of Microbiology held in Mexico in 1970 the Executive Committee decided to create three sections covering the fields of Bacteriology, Virology and Mycology.

Subsequently these sections became three separate divisions of IUMS possessing complete autonomy in the conduct of their affairs and the organization of their International Congresses (list of past presidents of IUMS and past and future International IUMS Congresses).

Please find below more detailed essay on the history of IUMS:

  • The International Union of Microbiological Societies, IUMS by Karl-Heinz Schelifer (IUMS president from 2005-2008) in Research in Microbiology 159: 45-48 (2008). Download the PDF
  • A history of the international union of microbiological societies (1927-1990) by Eric Kupferberg, PhD. February 1993. Download the PDF
  • A history of the Mycology Division under IUMS. Download the PDF
IUMS Presidents Past and Present
1927 1930 Jules Bordet 1982-1986 P Gerhardt
1931-1936 Jules Bordet 1986-1988 K Arima
1936-1939 J C G Ledingham 1988-1990 S Sasaki
1939-1947 T M Rivers 1990-1994 Rita R Colwell
1947-1950 T Madsen 1994-1999 P Helena Makela
1950-1951 O da Fonseca 1999-2002 BWJ Mahy
1953-1958 MacFarlane Burnet 2002-2005 J Davies
1958-1966 André Lwoff 2005-2008 K-H Schleifer
1966-1970 André Lwoff 2008-2011 D Sordelli
1970-1974 V M Zhdanov 2011-2014 G. Smith
1974-1978 Ashley Miles H P 2014-2017 Yuan Kun Lee
1978-1982 R Seelinger 2017-2022 Eliora Ron
    2022-2026 Rino Rappuoli

IUMS Congress 2024

International Union of Microbiological Societies