Introduction

This symposium will bring together glycochemists and biologists with experts in bioinformatics and computer sciences and introduces a new term: Systems Glycomics.

Glycomics, in the past considered a subfield of proteomics, has established itself and evolved to become an independent discipline which studies systematically the glycan structures in a cell or organism. In addition to analysing the structural diversity of glycoconjugates, glycomics aims also to achieve a comprehensive understanding of their functions.

In consequence, boundaries to proteomics, genomics and metabolomics are crossed towards a systems-wide investigation of the various roles of glycoconjugates in cell-cell communication, recognition processes, signal transduction, molecular trafficking, modulation and regulation of molecular pathways in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes and in many other processes such as diagnosis and therapy of diseases. Glycomics also encompasses further important areas, for example, combining bioinformatics and mathematics approaches to develop methods for data storage, analysis, and modelling functions and relationships.