The 4th Beilstein Glyco-Bioinformatics Symposium took place in Potsdam, Germany, and addressed several key issues facing the field of glycobiology. Presentations covered a range of disciplines from biology to computer science which provided a unique venue to discuss these challenges through an interdisciplinary approach. Researchers were offered an opportunity to not only present new research but also a unique environment to converse with other experts in the field and promote collaborations worldwide. The unique style of the Beilstein Symposia fosters a comfortable atmosphere which only furthers the exchange of ideas, knowledge and expertise to advance research in the glycosciences.
The 2015 meeting was entitled Unravelling Glycan Complexity and brought together chemists, biologists, bioinformaticians and computer scientists from 16 countries to promote the area of glyco-informatics. Presentations were innovative and highlighted key findings that emphasised the importance of glycan three-dimensional structure as it relates to interacting partners, appreciation for indistinct and dynamic genetic factors that contribute to systems glycobiology, understanding challenges and limitations in existing analytical methods and in oligosaccharide synthesis as well as demonstrations of the latest bioinformatics tools. Glycomics remains an important subject area among other –OMICS fields and its continued success is driven by pioneering and progressing research which was reflected in this year’s meeting.