We are pleased to present to our readers the Proceedings of the International Symposium Proteases: Potential Role in Health and Disease which was held in WUrzburg (FRG) during October 17-20, 1982. The topics discussed included those dealing with the physi- ology and pathophysiology of proteases and their inhibitors, the interactions of proteases and hormones, the kallikrein-kinin system, complement and the coagulation system, the function of proteases in the kidney and the intestinal tract as well as the role of proteases in lung diseases, pancreatitis, arthritis and hypercatabolic states (multiple trauma, septicemia, acute renal failure). The papers presented answered many questions, but raised many more concerning the significance of proteases and their inhibitors in clinical medicine. It was unfortunately impossible in this volume to in- clude the extended, lively and extremely stimulating discussions which were enjoyed by the participants during the conference. The meeting has provided a unique framework for close inter- action between scientists from various disciplines, including bio- chemistry, physiology, surgery, anaesthesiology, endocrilogy, hematology, pulmology and nephrology. We would like to express our thanks and appreciation for all those who have stimulated, encouraged and supported us to hold this symposium in WUrzburg. This endeavor could t have been possible without the generous financial support of the Paul-Martini- Foundation (Mainz), Bayer AG (Leverkusen), Beiersdorf AG (Hamburg).