It is increasingly being acknowledged that complex carbohydrates mediate a huge variety of cellular interactions, permitting and regulating recognition and signalling events. This is achieved by the enormous range and complexity of branched structures in glycoconjugates and the ability of carbohydrate-binding proteins (lectins) to decipher this ‘glycocode’. Approx. 120 participants attended the 23rd International Lectin Meeting (Interlec-23) held at the Universities of Edinburgh (2 days) and Stirling (4 days) between 11 and 16 July 2008. These ‘Interlecs’ are truly international multi-disciplinary symposia, providing opportunities for scientists from different backgrounds, but with a common interest in some aspect of protein–carbohydrate interactions, to present their work in an informal and stimulating atmosphere. A major aim is always to induce cross-fertilization of ideas and concepts, and Interlec-23 was intended to have some bias towards lectins (galectins, collectins, selectins, siglecs etc.) and their ligands in human health and disease. Delegates from over 30 countries attended this meeting which was divided into seven oral sessions opened by a keynote speaker. This issue of Biochemical Society Transactions contains papers based on the keynote lectures and is therefore representative of the main themes of Interlec-23.

You do not currently have access to this content.