History of the Society
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In 1989 at the Gordon Conference in Tilton, New Hampshire, USA, four Americans met under the trees to discuss the possibility to form an International QSAR Society. Some of the driving force for the idea came from a recent threat in 1987 of the loss of our Gordon Conference. Other concerns related to the isolation of many members working in this rarified field. In fact, all four of the founders were, and still are, working under isolating conditions without the support of many close colleagues.

A year later in 1990, the plan was set in motion and each of the founders accepted the responsibility to chair (Phil Magee), advise the chair (Marvin Charton), edit the Newsletter and function as secretary (John Block), and to handle the financial and membership problems (Jim King). Corwin Hansch was selected as honorary chairman for his role in founding and massively contributing to the modern field of QSAR. As volunteers, they did the best they could to fit their talents to the various tasks required. Moving quickly with the aid of attendance lists at recent Gordon Conferences, European QSAR Symposia and a recent European Conference on Environmental Toxicology, they solicited membership from a very broad range of interests in medicine, agriculture and toxicology. The response was excellent and the Society numbered approximately 370 members world-wide at the end of 1995.

An international board was established that represented the major regions of QSAR research. The function of the board is to approve or reject ideas for protocols presented by the officers who may not act without board approval. We installed this system to prevent anyone from making unilateral decisions affecting everyone else. Other actions included the adoption of Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships as our official journal that the Society would support and promote. The editors, Joachim Seydel and Ferenc Darvas, were among the earliest supporters of the Society and became the members of the international board. In the spirit of reciprocity, they negotiated a substantially reduced subscription fee for members of the Society. Our Newsletter was originally formatted as a vehicle for communication, advertisement and the publication of small papers and important new ideas. The early issues contained papers submitted by the officers, but the intent was the solicitation from the membership and recent issues have reflected this trend. They expect the Newsletter to evolve substantially under successive new leadership. In order to maintain close contact with the International Group for Correlation Analysis in Chemistry, where many of our members are also involved, they negotiated an arrangement of complimentary membership for the secretaries of each group. Each Society published news originating from the other.

Perhaps the most important accomplishment in our first five years was the development of a colleague directory containing exact mailing addresses, phone/fax and e-mail addresses of each member. This provided our isolated members and everyone else with instant access to a world-wide network of colleagues and consultants. As e-mail grew in scope, they expected this to be one of the most attractive features for every member. In 1994, they devised and submitted a protocol to the board for election of new officers by the membership. A ballot was designed and distributed by a general mailing and four candidates were honored by an internal vote of the Society board members (John Dearden, Hugo Kubinyi, Joachim Seydel, and Han van de Waterbeemd). This was truly a choice by peers as they were not permitted to vote for themselves. Election proceedings were timed to allow presentation of the new chair-elect at the 1995 Gordon Conference and this was successfully concluded. While the original officers remain installed until the end of 1995, this procedure gave the new officers a running start in developing their programs. The wisdom of this overlap procedure is clearly evident in the rapid development of the exceptional Internet WWW site. The founders wished the new officers the best of success and looked forward to a future of greater Society strength and influence.

In summer 1995, the members of the Society elected Hugo Kubinyi as the chair for the years 1996 - 2000. The new officers were Yvonne C. Martin (advisor to the Chair), Han van de Waterbeemd (secretary and Newsletter editor), and James King (treasurer). The complete list of the Board members is here.

At the 1995 QSAR Gordon Conference in Tilton, U.S.A., the Board and the Society members decided to change the title of the Society to The QSAR and Modelling Society, to consider the fact that classical QSAR, multivariate statistical modelling, molecular modelling, and computer-aided drug design overlap to a significant extent.

In summer 2000, Yvonne Martin was elected the chair for the period 2001-2005. She picked Hugo Kubinyi as the advisor. The list of other officers and the Board members is here.

In spring 2005, Tudor Oprea was elected the Chair for the period 2005-2010 and assumed the position at the Gordon conference in August 2005. The complete list of other officers and the Board members is here.

In spring 2007, the Board of the Society decided to change the title to The Cheminformatics and QSAR Society, to reflect the growing worldwide support for Cheminformatics

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Last Updated: April 4, 2007

 
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