The Latin American Federation of Biophysical Societies was constituted in 2007 in Montevideo-Uruguay as a joint initiative of the Biophysical Society of Argentina (SAB), the Brazilian Biophysical Society (SBBf) and the Biophysical Section of the Uruguayan Society of Biosciences (SBF.uy).
In 2005, Prof. Jorge Ponce Hornos, an IUPAB Council Member, presented a proposal to the SAB Council. His idea was to invite the Brazilian and Uruguayan associations to discuss the formation of a Union or Federation of Biophysical Societies. This initiative sought to bring together the societies that had previously organized the Southern Cone Biophysical Congresses since 1987. At the Biophysical Society of Argentina Annual Meeting in 2005, Prof Jorge Ponce Hornos and Dr. Silvia Alonso (SAB President-elected and Representative at IUPAB General Assembly) got together and wrote a first draft of LAFeBS Statutes in Spanish, based on IUPAB Statutes. During the next days (and months), there were intense discussions about whether it would be a federation or a union. Besides, some of LAFeBS cofounders: Dr. Jorge Ponce Hornos (IUPAB’s Council Member, Argentina), Dr. J. Raúl Grigera (IUPAB Task Force on Capacity Building in Biophysics’ Convenor, Argentina), Dr. F. Luis González Flecha (SAB’s Secretary-General, Argentina), Dr. Silvia del V. Alonso (SAB’s President-elected, Argentina), Dr. Marcelo M. Morales (SBBf’s President, Brazil) and Dr. Eduardo Mizraji (SBF.uy’s delegate, Uruguay) gathered to discuss the Foundational Assembly agenda and give its final format to LAFeBS statutes proposal. The passing of Jorge Ponce Hornos in 2006 was a touching loss, but Prof. Raúl Grigera swiftly assumed the role and took charge in leading the establishment of LAFeBS.
Another relevant precedent in the consolidation of LAFeBS was the holding of the 5th Southern Cone Biophysical Congress (renamed in LAFeBS Foundational Assembly as 5th LAFeBS Congress) associated with the 6th International Conference of Biological Physics (International Union for Pure and Applied Physics – IUPAP), and the Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society of Argentina. This important international congress was held in Montevideo, Uruguay, from August 27 to 31, 2007, with Raúl Grigera as the Chairman and Eduardo Mizraji as the Co-Chairman. The participation of our community in such an important international conference served as testimony of the high level that Biophysics research had achieved in our Latin American region.
LAFeBS first General Assembly took place during this 2007 meeting with the participation of Jerson Lima Silva, Paulo Mascarello Bisch and Marcelo Morales from Brazil; Mario Ermácora, Francisco Barrantes, Jorge Fischbarg, Horacio Garda, Luis González Flecha and Silvia Alonso from Argentina; Eduardo Mizraji and José R. Sotelo from Uruguay; and David Naranjo from Chile. This Assembly decided to constitute the Latin American Federation of Biophysical Societies (LAFeBS), approved its Statutes, and elected the first Executive Committee formed by Raúl Grigera (President, Argentina), Eduardo Mizraji (General Secretary, Uruguay) and Paulo Bisch (Treasurer, Brazil).