This volume contains the proceedings of the Ninth Meeting of the "International Study Group for Tryptophan Research" (lSTRY), held at the University of Hamburg, Germany, from October 10 to 14, 1998. At this meeting the recent developments in the field of tryptophan research were presented by leading researchers from all over the world in 81 oral and 48 poster contri butions. Research on tryptophan and its derivatives provides an inexhaustible subject. At the conference we tried to compose a multifacetted picture of the recent investiga tions through contributions from the major disciplines involved. Thus, we tried to strike a balance between basic research topics and clinical, nutritional or industrial applica tions. We offered workshops on tryptophan (in sleep and mood), melatonjn, IDO-acti vation and the eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS) as a platform for intensive discussion for the participants. In these proceedings many contributions are multidisciplinary and have practical or theoretical implications for different research fields. Hence, we have organized this volume in nine main chapters according to basic disciplines and subjects. We are aware that this classification is artificial, but we hope that it is the best compromise for contributors and readers.