Glyco Science logo
AGRC website linkNUIG logo

What is Glycoscience?

Every cell is covered with glycans (complex sugars) and a majority of naturally occurring proteins are glycosylated. Yet it is only very recently that glycans and glycoscience have received the attention they deserve. In the past, the methods for analysis of glycans were cumbersome and presented challenges in deciphering the complexity of the glyco-world and its unique biochemical language. However, recent analytical developments have revealed the crucial role played by glycans in almost every essential biological process, reproduction, signaling, cell differentiation, immunity, and diseases such as cancer, inflammation and microbial infections, and we have still only probed the tip of the iceberg. It is no surprise therefore that many new biopharmaceuticals are glycoproteins or have glycoprotein targets, or that the field of glycoscience is expected to underpin translation from laboratory to clinic in the coming decades

Ireland now has the opportunity to become centre stage in the field of glycoscience research, to become the centre of innovation in academic, industrial and clinical glycoscience research. Our goal is to carry out glycoscience research that is application oriented but built on solid foundation of basic research, and to become a world leader in the generation of new glycan-related technologies and therapies. GlycoScience Ireland provides a coherent platform for the development of glycoscience-related activities in Ireland, to address existing challenges of the clinical, biopharmaceutical and nutraceutical sectors in Ireland, to attract exceptional glyco-talent to our basic and translational research centres and ultimately to build strong and innovative glyco-based industries on this island. In order to promote glycoscience research and development in Ireland and connect this research to industrial and clinical partners, GlycoScience Ireland organizes annual meetings for academic research and for industrially relevant research.