Carotenoids are among the most ubiquitous of natural pigments and have been the focus of research efforts in the fields of plant biology, chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, nutrition, and medicine for over a century. The Gordon Research Conference on Carotenoids has been held triennially since 1992. The 2013 8th Gordon Research Conference on Carotenoids will uphold the tradition of bringing together multidisciplinary research investigators at the forefront of carotenoid science. The conference will showcase exciting developments and updates with presentations on breeding for human health; metabolic engineering of provitamin A carotenoids; biosynthesis and regulation; apocarotenoid biogenesis and signaling; carotenoid transport and metabolism; biological actions of carotenoids and their metabolites; carotenoids and chronic disease prevention; carotenoids in photosynthesis and apocarotenoids in vision. Academic, industrial and government participants are welcome and all are strongly encouraged to present their most recent unpublished findings as posters for which ample time has been allotted. Selected posters will be chosen for short oral presentations during the conference. This conference is an outstanding opportunity to promote growth, development, and open communication of frontier developments in carotenoid science. The collegial atmosphere of this conference, with programmed discussion sessions as well as opportunities for informal gatherings in the afternoons and evenings, provides a forum for scientists from different disciplines to brainstorm and promotes cross-disciplinary collaborations between carotenoid researchers world-wide. Applications are welcome from postdoctoral fellows and graduate students and it is anticipated that travel awards will be available to selected participants. Early application is recommended as attendance is limited. This year's GRC will be preceded by a newly established Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) on carotenoids specifically geared for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. GRS participants are invited to also apply to attend the GRC to further network and interact with the larger carotenoid community. Some funds will be available for GRS presenters.