The young investigator with an idea has to negotiate many institutional, federal, and industrial challenges in order to get a product to market. Nowhere is described the steps in the development of new drugs, diagnos tics, or devices; the person with an idea has nowhere to turn for information and details. The young investigator may understand the elements of basic and clinical research, but ordinarily has no insight into novel ways of finding research funding or how to explore to find the funding opportunities that are available. The young investigator has little knowledge of the mecha nisms to bring an idea through the developmental phases to the market. There are other players in this complex endeavor with whom he or she has no contact, including those from industry, the Food and Drug Administration, and the legal community. Exposure to the philosophy of product develop ment and to procedural information would be useful to the scientific com munity, as would contact with those who have successfully taken an idea to a finished product. A first attempt to do this was the symposium on Idea to Product: The Process, sponsored by Serono Symposia USA and held No vember 17 to 20, 1994, in Washington, D.C. This book comprises the pro ceedings of that meeting. The editors are indebted to the many contributors to this volume, and we are especially grateful to Serono Symposia USA and to Leslie Nies and her staff for their expertise in organizing the symposium.