History of the Division of Biochemical Technology

Interest in forming a fermentation section in the ACS was evident as early as 1936. It reached the point of action in 1946 at a meeting for organization called by C.S. Boruff, in cooperation with C.N. Frey and the late W.H. Peterson. Dr. Boruff became the section's first chairman in 1947; he was reelected in 1949 when the Fermentation Subdivision was established. In attendance were 75 representatives from industry, education, government, and foundation centers in fermentation research, development, and production. By invitation of the Division of Agriculture and Food Chapters at the Spring meeting of 1956 at Atlantic City.

The group first met as the Fermentation Section, and led to the designation of a Fermentation Subdivision. This affiliation continued until the spring of 1961, then the group's petition for a name change and division status was approved. The Division of Microbial Chemistry and Technology attained permanent status in September, 1963. In order to reflect the broadening interests of the Division, our name changed in 1976 to Microbial and Biochemical Technology Division (MBTD). Our name was changed again in 1989 to Biochemical Technology Division (BIOT) to reflect the increasing focus on biotechnology within the American Chemical Society.