The International Community of Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology which associates some 3 000 scientists from 21 countries all over the world holds regular international meetings at intervals of two years. The designated location of the XXth International Conference on Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology is Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. Leading experts will present 36 lectures in symposia and minisymposia covering recent advances in the field and bringing into focus novel themes for future investigations (see website www.biomed.cas.cz/yeast2001). Some 12 workshops on areas of broader interest and poster sessions covering 20 topics will enable participants to present their unpublished work. Modem yeast research is pursued by combination of classical and molecular genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and bioinformatics.
The complete sequencing of the firstgenome in eukaryotic organisms (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) achieved by the collaborative work of members of this yeast community, and the remarkable progress in sequencing the genomes of selected yeast species make these microorganisms uniquely tractable experimental systems attracting workers from other fields to address fundamental biological problems. Many of the new discoveries that will be discussed at the Conference have a great potential in research into cancer, aging, prion-based diseases and biotechnologies. The publicity of new discoveries and continued development of new biological techniques presented at the meeting will permit their use in medicine, bio-food and pharmaceutical industries. Owing to its central geographic position in Europe, the city of Prague offers an excellent opportunity to promote global exchange of ideas, personal contacts and fruitful international collaboration between Europe and countries all over the world.