Now, more than ever, enzymology and its development can be considered of vital importance to the progression of the biological sciences. With an increase in the numbers of enzymes being identified from genomic studies, enzymology is key to defining the structural and functional properties of these enzymes in order to establish their mechanisms of action and how they fit into metabolic networks. Along with the efforts of the bioinformaticians and systems biologists, such studies will ultimately lead to detailed descriptions of intricate biochemical pathways and allow identification of the most appropriate target enzymes for intervention in disease therapy. Thus the timing for the recent Biochemical Society Focused Meeting entitled ‘Enzyme Mechanisms: Fast Reaction and Computational Approaches’ was highly appropriate. The present paper represents an overview of this meeting, which was held at the Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre on 9–10 October 2008.

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