We propose to organise a conference on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), to be held over three days in September 2002 in Edinburgh. The objectives are to disseminate recent key findings in the areas of pathogenesis, diagnostics, therapeutics and epidemiology, and to provide a platform to update workers in the field on TSE research. Many of the leading researchers in this field have provisionally agreed to present their current work. We intend to provide bound copies of abstracts which will provide a useful source of current research. Edinburgh is a major focus of TSE research and has many international collaborations, particularly within the EC .