2021: The year in review

Moving forward together

President’s Message

Dear colleagues,

Another year has come and gone. Though the pandemic continues and hardships remain, this is a good time to reflect on the bright spots and, indeed, the wins of the past year — and to take note of what lies ahead of us.

In 2021, we shared new ways of meeting and teaching students where they are. We advocated for support for early-career scientists. We stood up for international collaborations and in opposition to racial profiling. We weighed in on various pieces of legislation and a proposal to create a new U.S. health research agency.

We elected new society leaders, celebrated our inaugural class of fellows, doubled our diversity scholarships and wrapped up a full year of open-access publishing.

Thanks to wide availability of effective COVID-19 vaccines, we were able to slowly and carefully return to some in-person activities.

2022 will be my last year as president of the ASBMB, and I'm excited about what’s to come. I recently presided over a meeting of the society's governing Council, at which we discussed how wonderful it will be to finally have the entire community in one place in April: to share experiences and to attend lectures and poster sessions in-person. For the health and safety of our members and community, we are requiring that all attendees be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and we will be taking into consideration state and local guidelines for mask requirements. This in-person ASBMB annual meeting in Philadelphia is sure to be a memorable event that you won’t want to miss! After so long apart, we’ve all been longing for company and connection.

The Council also discussed all the opportunities having a stand-alone meeting in 2023 will offer: more flexible scheduling, more time for specialized sessions, and more networking events designed to strengthen our relationships, invigorate our research and advance the careers of our students and postdocs. I can’t wait to share the details for this first-of-its-kind meeting later this year.

I hope you'll take a little time to browse this year’s annual report highlighting the society’s programs and impact. Our advocacy efforts, education and diversity initiatives, professional-development events and publications are all made possible thanks to your support. I think you’ll be as proud as I am of the important work being done to advance our field and support the researchers in it.

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season and my best wishes for 2022.


Toni Antalis

Toni Antalis
President, ASBMB

Leadership changes

The ASBMB elected new leaders and welcomed a new editor-in-chief for the Journal of Biological Chemistry and a new executive director.

2021 ASBMB election results

Learn about the president-elect, treasurer and members of Council and Nominating Committee.
2021 ASBMB election results


New ASBMB committee members

Learn about the society’s newest leaders.


Journal of Biological Chemistry names new editor-in-chief

Alex Toker, professor of pathology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, will begin his term Oct. 1.


Stephen F. Miller named the society's next executive director

He has been the organization's deputy executive director and chief financial officer.

All virtual events in 2021

With in-person gatherings still off-limits, the society has continued its events, both large and small, online — with great success.

Flexible formats

1 annual meeting15 webinars7 conferences

Engaged participants

8,888 registrants700 speakers1,102 poster presentations

Measurable impact

49% of attendees were from outside the U.S.91% would recommend event to peers10 were run by the Lipid Research Division

See you in Philadelphia!

Join thousands of scientists from multiple disciplines with shared research interests in April in Philly. Present your latest findings, hear inspiring lectures, participate in workshops, and form new bonds that will help you achieve the most important work of your career.

2022 ASBMB Annual Meeting


Engage and explore

The ASBMB organizes events that cover scientific research, educational best practices, the funding environment and more.


On-demand events

See our archive of recorded sessions including scientific presentations and discussions on topics related to career development, education, funding and advocacy.


Propose an event

Share your research, make connections and cultivate the scientific community. We’ll do the rest.

Your scientific community

The ASBMB has supported the careers and research of biochemists and molecular biologists for over 100 years. This year 149 people applied to be on ASBMB committees. Stay tuned for more ways to influence the society’s priorities and programs.

Congratulations, new fellows!

Selection as a fellow is an honor bestowed on our most distinguished members. Fellows are recognized for their contributions to the society, as well as meritorious efforts to advance the molecular life sciences through sustained outstanding accomplishments in areas such as scientific research, diversity, education, mentorship and service to the scientific community.

A year of open-access publishing

The ASBMB’s three journals — Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Lipid Research and Molecular & Cellular Proteomics — are freely available to all.

Special collections from the journals



This special issue includes review articles and research articles about the exciting, challenging and rapidly evolving field of glycoproteomics.



Chinese researchers have helped define and direct numerous research fields, and lipid science is no exception. See a snapshot of JLR papers from China.



Insulin was discovered 100 years ago. This joint issue by JBC and JLR highlights the important insulin science they’ve published in the ensuing decades.

Committed to diversity, equity and inclusion

The ASBMB strives to develop programs that support and increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology.

Ciearra SmithNew DEI manager

Ciearra Smith joined the society as manager of diversity, equity and inclusion programs in August. Smith previously was a postdoc in diversity, equity and inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where she earned her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences.


MOSAIC program grows

The ASBMB welcomed 12 participants in its National Institutes of Health-funded program to support early-career researchers from diverse backgrounds. See the MOSAIC cohort.

Sewer scholars

Diversity scholarship doubled

A generous gift from New England Biolabs enabled us to increase the number of undergraduate winners to 10. Learn more about the gift.

Contribute to the Sewer scholarship fund

The Marion B. Sewer Distinguished Scholarship for Undergraduates offers financial support to students who will one way or another diversify the scientific workforce. Each year, the society awards five $2,000 awards to outstanding undergraduates. Beginning in 2021, we would like to double the number of Sewer undergraduate scholarship awards we offer.

Learn more Donate Apply

Help us endow our diversity award

The Ruth Kirschstein Diversity in Science Award honors an outstanding scientist who has shown a strong commitment to the encouragement of underrepresented minorities in the scientific enterprise. It carries a prize of $3,000. Your tax-deductible gift will help us make our award sustainable into perpetuity.

Learn more Donate

Advocating for you

The public affairs team has been busy responding to policy proposals and changes, developments at the National Institutes of Health, and court cases.

14 position statements5 letters to federal agencies65+ meetings with congressional offices

Weighing in and making a difference

Science communication supports our mission

The ASBMB organizes science communication and outreach activities and develops tools, resources and opportunities for members to improve their science communication and public engagement skills.

The ASBMB’s online course “The Art of Science Communication” teaches participants how to present science to nonexpert audiences.

81 students took our online course83 students took our blended course30 volunteers facilitated our online course

Join the Art of Science Communication mailing list for updates on course offerings.

Education initiatives

The ASBMB supports excellence in the education of students and promotes effective instructional practices in the molecular life sciences. The ASBMB accreditation program, certification exam program and Student Chapters program continued to grow.

108 student chapters in 2020-2021 academic year6 new chapters established in 2021359 students earned degree certification18 new education associates appointedX newly accredited programs38 states with accredited programs

In memoriam

The society bid farewell to influential scientists, committed mentors and longtime members.


In memoriam: Gertrude Forte

The first woman to be named editor-in-chief of the Journal of Lipid Research died June 9.


In memoriam: Edmond Fischer

He was world’s oldest Nobel laureate, renowned for his foundational work on enzyme regulation through reversible phosphorylation.


In memoriam: Guido Guidotti

A professor of biochemistry at Harvard University for more than 60 years, he studied proteins and published 120 papers in JBC.