SLB Origins

The Society for Leukocyte Biology was founded in 1954 under a different name; The Reticuloendothelial Society or RES. The first event was held in 1955 as a joint congress in Paris, France. The society officially became incorporated in 1965 in the state of New Jersey.

Over time, the organization, and its scope, changed. Strong leadership from dedicated volunteers kept the society relevant as science evolved. In 1984, the RES Journal transformed into the Journal of Leukocyte Biology with the organization’s 35th volume and, in 1991, an official name change to the Society for Leukocyte Biology was completed.

Over the years, SLB has held over 60 conferences between joint international congresses and the annual society meeting.  2023 will mark the 56th Annual Meeting of SLB. Membership has grown over the years, beginning with just a few dozen in the fifties to well over a thousand.  Serving all education and career levels, the society continues to grow as a community and serves the ever changing needs of researchers and clinicians in the field of Leukocyte Biology.

68 years and counting of a successful organization doesn’t happen without significant effort.  RES, and then SLB, was volunteer led and run until 1992, at which time the organization moved to formal society management services through a partnership with the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).  Partnering with FASEB since 1992, SLB has evolved as an independent entity while still maintaining the relationship with FASEB as a member society; leveraging the best that FASEB has to offer with their public affairs and science advocacy programs. The Journal has also evolved over the years having partnered first with The Academic Press back in the seventies, to being published with Alan R. Liss Inc. in the eighties, to being self-published from the nineties until 2018.  In 2018, JLB partnered with Wiley until 2022 and the Journal now enjoys a solid partnership with Oxford University Press.

An amazing number of volunteers and members over the years have been instrumental in ensuring SLB stays relevant and continues to be a solid community; way too many to list here! Society records are best from 2006 on but significant effort has gone into digitizing all available materials.  From issues of RES to a complete list of Council beginning in 1955, SLB has an impressive record of all the volunteers who have made our community possible.  A great history resides in the newsletter archive and also the past issues of RES. It is great fun to glimpse into the past and look at old membership forms, cutting edge science from long ago, and even company ads.

We welcome you to marvel at how our little society began, and how it is still running today as strong as ever.  It takes people, like you, to reflect on the past and look forward to ensuring the future.  Contact us if you have any specific historical questions about SLB and JLB and we’ll be glad to dive into the archives with you!