- Education and awareness: Both students and peer researchers who are not experts in glycoscience lack an understanding of why glycoscience is significant, they lack a comprehensive view of what the glycoscience field encompasses, and they do not see how glycoscience relates to their own interests. Researchers expressed concerns about the limited coverage of carbohydrates in academic programs when compared to classes of molecules such as nucleic acids and proteins and about how the field suffers from a perception that it is too complex to study effectively or is not exciting.
- Critical role of collaborative approaches: Many glycoscience challenges are likely to benefit from synergistic efforts that bring communities of people together to address problems from different perspectives. As the field seeks to advance to the next level of discoveries, there will be a need to foster collaboration and understanding between, for example, clinicians and laboratory researchers, between biologists and chemists, and between computational/informatics experts and experimental scientists.
The landscape of glycoscience research provides a picture of a global field with a range of ongoing research efforts, both academic and commercial, and one for which the community sees significant opportunities as well as common challenges. The following chapters of this report attempt to present a holistic view of glycoscience’s contributions to critical areas such as human health, energy, and materials science; to bring new attention from both experts and nonexperts to the field; and to point the way toward a roadmap and a vision for the future of the field.