? In the past 10 years, there have been many studies published on the development of the enteric nervous system in journals including Science, Nature, Neuron, Nature Genetics, Gastroenterology, Journal of Neuroscience and Development. These studies have included a broad diversity of approaches including genetic studies of humans with Hirschsprung's disease, zebrafish genetics, and cell and molecular biological studies using avians and a variety of mutant and transgenic mice and rats. Many of the studies were motivated by a desire to understand a number of developmental disorders of the enteric nervous system including Hirschsprung's disease, slow transit constipation and infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis. This research field is an excellent example of the power of animal models to understand a human disease (Hirschsprung's disease). Recent studies have shown that stem cells can be isolated from the developing and adult enteric nervous system, and there is enormous interest in the use of these enteric neural stem cells for therapeutic purposes. Importantly, the developing enteric nervous system has also provided many insights into neural development and cell migration in general. There has not yet been a conference devoted to the development of the enteric nervous system. The main goal of our meeting is to bring together, for the first time, the diversity of researchers interested in the development of the enteric nervous system. Our meeting will also be of interest to researchers interested in the control of adult motility as some of the molecules identified in developmental studies are likely to play key roles in the maintenance of function in adults, and are likely to be major targets in strategies to restore or repair enteric neural circuits. Topics to be covered include stem cells, migratory pathways, genetics of Hirschsprung's disease, genetic screens, development of gut motility, Sox10, endothelin-3, Ret signaling, interactions between pathways. The invited speakers include all of the leading researchers in the field, including Professor Nicole Le Douarin. We also anticipate that many post-graduate students and post-doctoral fellows will also attend. ? ?