Term Report 2007 - 2009

The 2007 - 2009 report on ISN activities is available here:

Download (pdf, 2.4 MB)

Detailed ISN History

Through the efforts of Roscoe R. Robinson and Gabriel Richet, two of the Society’s Past Presidents, ISN’s history between 1960 and 2001 has been detailed  in the below 100 page overview.

The History of ISN by R.Robinson and G. Richet (pdf, 15.1 MB)

The History of ISN (2001-2010) by Rashad S. Barsoum (pdf, 2.1 MB)

Brief ISN History

The ISN was created in 1960 following the 1st International Congress of Nephrology held that year in Geneva (Switzerland) and Evian-les-Bains (France), in large part as a result of the vision of Professor Jean Hamburger, who became the ISN’s Founder and first President.  Since its foundation ISN has promoted the worldwide advancement of education, science, and patient care in nephrology.

Up to 1995 ISN’s membership expanded to over 6,500 with members coming predominantly from North America, Western Europe and Japan. After a campaign in the mid 1990s to recruit members from the developing world, membership has grown to well over 8,000.

Given the early geographic representation of members the initial ISN meetings were designed for those operating in highly developed academic and clinical centers. For example the earlier scientific congresses were held within these same developed geographic areas and were targeted almost exclusively for this advanced audience. Likewise, diffusion of scientific and clinical research and updates on society affairs occurred via the Society’s journal Kidney International, whose distribution was limited to that membership type.

Similarly, the Forefront Conferences - launched in 1984 - focused on contemporary topics in basic sciences related to nephrology, which were primarily of interest to experts from North America, Europe, Japan and Australasia.

In order to better reach its colleagues and patients in economically less developed countries, the ISN expanded its activities with a large number of specific programs and initiatives aimed at these regions. As a result, the ISN has reached most parts of the world previously deprived of contact with renal science and renal patient care.

Initial developments included educational programs such as the Fellowship Program and the provision of Travel Grants to enhance accessibility to the ISN congresses. Subsequently, in the mid 1990s, all activities were intensified under the guidance of the specially created ISN Global Outreach (GO) Programs which intensified all outreach efforts and saw the creation of many more programs.

More recently, ISN has become increasingly involved in addressing chronic kidney disease and its prevention and has engaged in high-visibility partnerships and initiatives like the World Kidney Day, and collaborations with related non-renal medical specialties.

Along with a thorough revision of its By-Laws, ISN has recently undertaken to increase the involvement of younger nephrologists in its affairs by offering “In-Training” Memberships and launching a “Young Nephrologists” Committee.


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Donating to the Barbara L. and Robert W. Schrier Fund for Global Development in Nephrology is an easy way to help combat kidney disease around the world.

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