Draft Minutes General Assembly Singapore

Sunday July 16, 2017, 11.00am – 13.00pm at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre.

These minutes will be adopted at the next General Assembly in Daejon (South Korea) in 2020.

1. Welcome and introduction by the President

The President, Yuan Kun Lee, welcomes the National Delegates to the General Assembly.

2. Roll-call & Introduction of voting delegates by the Secretary General and his assistants

Representatives of the following National Committees and Member Societies were present:

  • Belgium: Jozef Anne (arrived late)
  • Brazil: Gustavo Goldman
  • Chili: Rosalba Lagos, proxyholder for Dr. Claudia Saavedra, President of the Chilean Microbiology Society (SOMICH).
  • Finland: Kristiina Mäkinen & Tero Ahola
  • India: Anupam Varma, President Indian Virological Society & Representing National committee of IUMS & Shailendra K. Saxena, Secretary Medical Virology Indian Virological Society.
  • Israel and Israeli Academy of Microbiology: Eliora Ron
  • Italy: Mariagrazia Pizza, representing SIGMBM
  • Japan: Yoichi Kamagata
  • Korea: Sang-Ki Rhee
  • Netherlands: Robert Samson
  • Portugal: Isabel Sá-Correia
  • Singapore: Yuan Kun Lee
  • South Africa: Hafizah Chenia & Bala Pillay
  • Spain: Miguel Vicente
  • USA: Stephen Lerner & Terence Dermody
  1. Adoptions of Minutes of the Montreal 2014 General Assembly

The minutes were posted on the IUMS website 3 years ago. Objections: none.


  • none

The minutes were adopted as correct.

The draft minutes of the current meeting will be posted on the website soon after this GA. Click here.

  1. Prof Kazuyuki Tatsumi (Member of the ICSU Executive Board): ICSU for the Benefit of Science, All Societies, and Human Beings

Dr. Tatsumi (Nagoya University) is Member of the Japanese Academy of Sciences, of the Science Council of Japan and the International Council for Science. Dr. Tatsumi is a chemist and works on cluster active sites, a key to realizing a sustainable society. Dr. Tatsumi is not able to join the IUMS congress as in his function for ICSU he’s travelling to the UK tomorrow.

ICSU has both Union Members (31), National Members (122) and Associate Members (22), from a total of 142 countries. Mission: to strengthen international science for the benefit of all societies. Themes: International Research Collaboration, Science and Policy, and Universality of Science. ICSU has 4 Scientific Committees, 4 Observing Systems and 4 Data and Information Systems (CODATA, WDS, INASP and IUCAF). Project: Future Earth, research for global sustainability.

The ISSC (International Social Science Council) has 2 international councils: the International Council for Science and the International Social Science Council. In 2015 a joint working group developed scenarios on future relations between ICSU and ISSC and recommended a merger. In 2016 the Executive bodies of both organizations endorsed a merger in principle. In October 2016, at a joint GA, members voted in favor of a merger. In case of vote in favor of merger, the new organization should be formed in 2018. Working groups were formed of the 2 councils and a Strategy Working Groups (SWG). There is also a Transition Task Force (TTF). Final steps are currently being taken. There’s an important meeting in Taiwan coming up (voting for the merger). In 2018 the Founding General Assembly of the new organization (proposed name “TBC”) should take place. Prof Tatsumi welcomes all at the upcoming GA’s. Dr. Tatsumi thanks the IUMS for the nice cooperation and hopes to continue working together in the future for the benefit of the societies and the people.


  • Mariagrazia Pizza; Decisions taken how: Tatsumi: the commissions. In due course the new organization will setup a new schema, replacing the current ones in place at the 2 different societies (ICSU and ISSC).
  • Eliora Ron: ICSU has a strong biology part and that is nice (comment, not a question). Tatsumi: ICSU is much bigger than ISSC. Secretariat will remain in Paris.
  • Anupam Varma: Varma was the first chairman of Kuala Lumpur ICSU. Varma is not happy about the merger and would not like the name of the joint organization to change. It should remain ICSU or ICSU! Tatsumi: takes note and informs that the new name is being discussed in Taipei, or maybe earlier.
  1. Report of the President (Yuan Kun Lee)

IUMS has come of age and is still expanding. 3 new members joined IUMS last year. Main activity of the IUMS lies in the organization of the 3-annual congresses. In recent years more and more integration of the 3 divisions took place. Workshops for developing countries are being held, e.g. in Cuba, Indonesia, South America.

  1. Report of Treasurer

Announcement from the Secretary General: Helmut Fickenscher, the treasurer was not able to come. IUMS presents a new candidate for the treasurer position: Ms Heather Lawrence, a professional accountant.

IUMS Financial Summary 2013-2017 shows the income of the last 3 years and the first half of 2017. Membership fees have been fairly consistent till 2016, when some of the fees were not paid. This is being addressed now. Hence the increase in 2017 and that number will still go up. The income from this congress will be integrated in the budget later this year. Investments did not generate much, due to the current financial situation worldwide.

Summary of income / expenditure: measures need to be taken to secure income out of membership dues. Contact details and membership numbers are crucial to send out invoices.

Balance sheet showing the value of IUMS. Total funds consists of General Funds and Designated Funds (Arima and Mudd awards). Funds are being adjusted slightly every year in order to reflect the investments.

Budget: 2017: Congress income on the budget is based on approximate number of attendees. This number will increase.

Membership records: Figures relate to dues received from member societies. Blacked out = not paid.


  • Bala Pillay: not much money was collected in 2016. There has been poor communication with regard to membership payment. Treasurer: improved and restructured office and finances the past few months.
  • Bala Pillay: audit fee is high. Treasurer: is currently investigating auditors at better prices.
  • Bala Pillay: Figures regarding scientific activities; not much has taken place and funds are accumulating. What is the purpose of this organization. Treasurer: we need income fees in order to improve the financial situation, so more scientific activities can be done.

Following the report of the treasurer, there were above questions from the GA. The report was adopted without corrections.

  1. Report of Secretary (Robert A. Samson)

Activities of the secretariat:

Announcements: sadly, EB member Dr. Koesnander passed away in 2014. He was replaced by Yoichi Kamagata. Also, Prof. Shogo Sasaki who replaced Prof Arima, passed away in November 2014.

Societies: In 2017, the IUMS represented 69 countries with member societies. IUMS is working hard trying to improve the membership administration. As seen in the treasurer’s report, some countries failed to pay their dues. The Secretary General urges delegates to check their details on the IUMS website and inform the Secretary General if any changes are needed. Also, the number of members needs correction. The IUMS now unites about 50.000 microbiologists. However, e.g. China also has 10.000 microbiologists who are not really under the IUMS umbrella.

IUMS website: Frequently visited. If the societies have any need for information, please inform the Secretary General. He can also place important meetings on the website.

Journal: The status of the World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology (WJMB) has been examined again and there is renewed interest of the Springer Publishers for collaboration and using the journal as an official IUMS platform. It is now agreed that that WJMB will provide three pages per year free of charge for IUMS to publish in the journal in the online and printed editions. WJMB will include the IUMS logo on its cover and in turn be allowed to leave the text “an official journal of IUMS” on the cover. Springer also requested that the journal Mycopathologia should be an IUMS journal. The Secretary General negotiated the same conditions as for the WJMB.


  • Isabel Sá-Correia (Delegate of the Portuguese Society of Microbiology): fees, scientific activities, and contact with the societies. What activities are going on? Also, the fact that a GA would be held was unknown till she came here. was Secretary General: tried to contact societies with letters and email. Not many addresses bounce, so someone should receive them. Information regarding the GA was already sent around 1 year ago. Probably his email was not passed on to the other members. Therefore, the website is important as a means of communication. Regarding scientific activity: Stephen Lerner will talk about the outreach program we do with a limited budget. IUMS also provides money to the divisions, who are very active in commissions that do a lot of good work. The money is spent directly on science. At the moment our budget is limited, so we cannot spend a whole lot. Countries can approach IUMS for seed money for a workshop.

Following the Report of the Secretary there were above questions. The report was adopted without corrections.

  1. Divisional Reports

BAM (M. Vicente).

Summarizes activities of BAM 2014 onwards. In 2014, a flyer and website were erected at Montreal in 2014 to improve visibility of the IUMS. 2015: IUMS EB meeting in Singapore. Main achievement of BAM Journal: agreement reached and now matters have been settled. The World Journal can now be used for IUMS promotion. Also, the constitution was being worked on in order to update and modernize it. French society was very helpful in providing the text of the old constitution, in order to compare. In 2016 an EB meeting was held at Utrecht, Netherlands. The new Constitution is now formally approved and will be discussed at the BAM meeting next Tuesday. 2017: Codex alimentarius received about status of IUMS in the Codex (regulations food and nutrition). The Codex was taken on by one of the comcofs. The German association discontinued their membership, however, contact is being slowly picked up again. Hopefully the German association will join the IUMS again. Vicente is proud of the BAM program, which is very interesting. The program was setup by Rosalba Lagos together with local organizers.

Vicente is very thankful to the Secretary General for his help and advice. This is Vicente’s final term as chair of the BAM division. Rosalba Lagos is taking over his role.


  • No questions.


In 2014 Eukaryotes were included in the division name and program. This was already visible in 2014 in the Montreal program. And this congress this is even further improved. In 2020 the program will be fully developed. Gustavo Goldman has been very much involved in the program for this meeting. And also, Tom Dawson was able to help out. Hart of MEM: the commissions. All have been very active and some of them even organized annual meetings (e.g. Yeast symposia). The monograph “The Yeasts” is also a big project. Over 70 authors from many countries are working on it. They left Elsevier and the book is now online, open access. Outreach IUMS: a big activity (>200 attendants) on food safety in Indonesia was held in 2016. Coming 3 years Gustavo Goldman will take over as chair of MEM. Aim is to further foster connections between the different societies and improve communication with the commission. MEM has many activities and active COMCOFS. Boekhout thanks Gustavo Goldman, Rob Samson and Tom Dawson and the Executive Board of the IUMS.


  • No questions

VIROLOGY (T. Dermody):

Dermody is from the University of Pittsburg. Spent most of his time as EB member since 2014 in organizing this 2017 meeting. It is now a terrific program helped by an international advisory committee. The meeting has a keynote speaker, 4 bridging speakers, 18 plenary speakers. 500 abstracts being submitted and these were organised into workshops, poster sessions and oral presentations. 24K in sponsorships was raised. The COMCOF is a very active group and served a vital function. They host a large server with virus sequences. 15K was provided to ICTV for their activities. 11K was transferred to the virology division account for future scientific activities. The division is currently looking for new officers. This meeting concludes 6 years of service on IUMS for Dermody. It has been a privilege to serve. Paul Taylor is assuming chairmanship. Dermody thanks Rob Samson for all his work and faithful stewardship.


  • No questions.

Following the Reports of the Divisions there were no questions. The reports were adopted without corrections.

  • Report: UNESCO, IUMS, SGM Fellowships (Yuan Kun Lee)

SGM has donated fellowships for young scientists. IUMS would like to setup travel grants from IUMS too.

Following the Report of the President there were no questions.

  • Report on IUMS Awards (M. Pizza)

The awards for 2017: 7 nominations received. Awardees:

Arima Award: Fernando Baquero.

Mudd Award: Joerg Hacker.

The winners will present a lecture tomorrow night. Dr Baquero will not be able to attend personally, so will try video conference to give his acceptance lecture. Mrs Pizza hopes for more nominations next time.


  • No questions.
  • Report of the Nomination Committee for the new Executive Board

Nominations for the Executive Board of 2012-2014 are:

President-Elect: Rino Rappuoli (Italy) – election unopposed

2 Vice-Presidents: Sang-Ki Rhee (S Korea), Mariagrazia Pizza (Italy) – election unopposed

Treasurer: Heather Lawrence (UK) – election unopposed

Secretary General: Robert A. Samson (Netherlands) – re-election unopposed

2 Members at Large: Ichiroo Nakagawa (Japan) and Miguel Vicente (Spain)

Since there is only one candidate for each position, no voting is needed. There are no objections from the GA. The Secretary General congratulates the nominees. Handover meeting will take place on Thursday at 11AM.

  • IUMS Outreach Programs. Report of activities (Stephen L. Lerner, Robert A. Samson).

Lerner has been vice president of the IUMS for 6 year. Involved in outreach program together with Rob Samson. Topic foci: Antimicrobial Resistance (Lerner) and Food Safety (Samson). Audience: parts of the world that don’t have access to international meetings and to microbiologists from other areas of the world.

Antimicrobial Resistance. Focus primarily on Asia and Southern America. 2014: Colombia, with 3 speakers sponsored by IUMS. 2015: 2 activities in India (Opening session at Delhi-4 speakers and at MICRON conference at Puducherry-1 speaker). 2016 Rosario, Argentina, 1 speaker, lecture.

Food Safety. 2014 Yogyakarta Indonesia. Workshop food safety and mycotoxins. 2017 5th IUMS outreach program on food safety and mycotoxins in Yogyakarta, attended by > 200 microbiologists.

This is Lerner’s last year at IUMS. It has been a very gratifying experience.


  • No questions.
  • IUMS Congress Daejon (South Korea) 2020 and announcement of the site for 2023

2023: Received two bids. One from Portugal, one from the Netherlands. The EB voted and 10 votes were for Netherlands, 4 for Portugal. So, the Netherlands has been chosen as the venue for the IUMS meeting in 2023.

2026: Bids for 2026 can be submitted to the Secretary General. These bids will be considered by the Executive Board at their meeting in South Korea in 2020, Submission of bids: at least 3 months prior to the EB meeting in South Korea.

  • Notification of the new Executive Board Members to attend the Handover Meeting

Handover meeting with old and new members will take place coming Thursday.

Questions: none.

President: thanks Yuan Kun Lee and his team for all the hard work done and thanks all being there at GA for their support.

The meeting was adjourned at 13.00.

IUMS Congress 2024

International Union of Microbiological Societies