Founded in Venice (Italy) on the 7th of April 1976 as the International Society for Clinical Enzymology (ISCE), the name was changed to the International Society for Enzymology (ISE) at a General Meeting in Cambridge, UK on the 14th of July 1996, with the object of widening the scope of activities and membership beyond the strictly clinical field.
The Society exists to provide a forum for exchange of views and dissemination of knowledge on all matters related to the study of enzymes including their structure, function, mechanism of action, genetic and metabolic regulations, as well as their applications in industry, biotechnology, toxicology and environmental medicine, as therapeutic agents, and in the diagnosis, treatment and pathogenesis of disease in man and other living species.
The Founding President, J. Henry Wilkinson (London, UK), died half-way through his term and was succeeded by his Vice-President, Angelo Burlina (Verona, Italy), who continued as President for a further term. Subsequent Presidents have included Donald W. Moss (London, UK), Mario Werner (Washington, DC), Morton K. Schwartz (New York, USA), David M. Goldberg (Toronto, Canada), Francesco Salvatore (Naples, Italy), and currently, Mario Plebani (Padova, Italy).
From its inception, the Society has focused upon the organization of International Symposia and Congresses, as well as publishing the Proceedings of these events. The first Congress was held in London (UK) in 1978, with subsequent Congresses in San Diego (USA), Salzburg (Austria), Washington (DC, USA), Jerusalem (Israel), Abbano Terme (Italy), Hannover (Germany), Osaka (Japan), Toronto (Canada), Sydney (Australia), Lexington (USA), Cambridge (UK), Venice (Italy), and most recently in Naples (Italy) and Hanamatsu (Japan). Many of these events were Satellites to the Triennial Congresses of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC).
Additional Congresses on a European scale were held in Madrid (Spain), Cracow (Poland), and Athens (Greece). The Society has also been involved in shared Meetings and Symposia with other cognate organizations in Chemistry, Pathology, and Laboratory Medicine elsewhere in Europe: Munich and Leipzig (Germany), Verona and Capri (Italy), and one Symposium devoted to Obesity and Atherosclerosis ("ERDOA Conference") which took place in Toronto (Canada).
From these Meetings, numerous publications emerged. Some were developed into multiple volume series, such as Progress in Clinical Enzymology (Masson, Paris), Selected Topics in Clinical Chemistry (De Gruyter, Berlin), and Advances in Clinical Enzymology (Karger, Basel). The Proceedings of many Meetings were published as Special Issues or Supplements of several journals, including Clinical Biochemistry and Clinica Chimica Acta. From its inauguration, a special relationship was developed with the journal Enzymologica Biologica Clinica (subsequently renamed Enzyme), which became the official organ of the Society and published its Newsletters until its demise. That role has since been taken on by Clinica Chimica Acta.
The Society has assumed responsibility for encouraging and promoting the practice of enzymology and utilization of its techniques and knowledge base by means of workshops and other educational events associated with its Congresses and Symposia. It has also awarded Honorary membership and a number of prizes to persons who have made outstanding contributions to the field of Enzymology, as well as to younger scientists who have distinguished themselves by the quality of their work as presented at Meetings sponsored by the Society.