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Proteoglycans are being found to play important roles across an increasingly broad range of biological systems and disease processes. This is underpinned by their highly regulated production and turnover, the inherent complexity of their structure and organization in tissues, and their diverse interactions with extracellular signaling molecules. The recent explosion in knowledge has been driven by the development of new tools and methodologies that are helping to crack the PG code as well as by a growing awareness of the functional importance of these fundamental and ubiquitous molecules by the wider scientific and medical communities. The program will bring together the latest research at the forefront of the field including traditional topics such as proteoglycan biosynthesis and catabolism, along with expanding areas such as the roles of PGs in fibrosis, cell metabolism and ageing. For example, new functional activities of proteoglycans will be discussed in the contexts of cancer, diseases of the musculoskeletal and neuronal systems, and immune evasion by pathogens. There will also be a strong focus on recently developed technologies for PG research and on the translation of proteoglycans into novel therapeutics and tissue engineering approaches. The 2018 Gordon Research Conference will honor the traditions of past meetings allowing multi-disciplinary scientific discussions between investigators at all career stages within its inclusive and collegial atmosphere. In addition to presentations by invited speakers, approximately 40 short talks will be selected from submitted abstracts, based on their novelty and fit with conference themes. Daily poster sessions will be preceded by "Poster Preview" presentations to highlight exciting new work; here graduate students, postdocs and new investigators who have not been chosen for a short talk will be given priority. Moreover, the outstanding camaraderie of the proteoglycan community will undoubtedly provide an unparalleled opportunity for more junior scientists to interact with senior investigators. Open dissemination of ideas between all participants will be maximized in order to continue the growth, development and diversity of the proteoglycan field.