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Since 1965, the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Lasers in Medicine and Biology (LMB) has sought to inspire and educate current and future generations of interdisciplinary scientists and engineers in the application of optics and photonics to medicine and biology. The 2018 conference aims to encourage scientific exchange between biophotonics researchers at the cutting-edge of these fields, to critically and collectively address the current state of the field and its future directions and to strengthen and renew the biophotonics community by promoting close interactions between researchers across all levels. To enhance the participation of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at our conference, this year, GRC-LMB will be preceded by the inaugural Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) on LMB, a forum organized by students and postdocs for their peers. The 2018 GRC-LMB will have 9 technical sessions that encompass areas of critical need that currently have very limited biophotonics research focused in that area. These areas represent key challenges and opportunities that will guide the future of biophotonics, medicine and biology. These sessions also provide a broad and comprehensive coverage of the biophotonics field, while focusing on several rapidly emerging sub-fields. Each session will begin with a key thought-leader/practitioner who will present the unmet needs in their discipline that may be addressed with biophotonics. This will be followed by speakers, comprising of a mix of established senior leaders, rising star researchers, physician-scientist-engineers, and researchers who are working to solve one of the challenges in that discipline. The aim is to balance fundamental research with translational applications, and current technological trends with future prospects and potentially transformative ideas. All speakers have been encouraged to present unpublished work in keeping with the hallmark of a Gordon Conference and we expect and anticipate lively, open and thought-provoking discussions throughout the conference.