ATW8 was a unique opportunity to review the complex and growing field of ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) research and to cross-fertilize ideas for new experimental designs. A-T biology now encompasses human and mouse neurology, neurobiology, immunology, radiobiology, cell signalling, cell cycle checkpoints, gametogenesis, and oncogenesis, as well as radiotherapy, cancer epidemiology, premature aging, cytogenetics, and DNA repair mechanisms. By an as yet undetermined mechanism, the ATM protein appears to sense double strand breaks (DSB) during meiosis or mitosis, or breaks consequent to the damage of free radicals which are generated during the metabolism of food. As a protein kinase, ATM then directly phosphorylates p53 and interacts with many other molecules involved in homologous and nonhomologous DSB repair, as well as in cell signalling. Some of these molecule targets include: c-ab1, ATR, chk-1, chk-2, RPA, BRCA1, BRCA2, NFκB/IκBα, β-adaptin, and perhaps ATM itself. Thus, ATM is a “hierarchical kinase,” initiating many pathways simultaneously. Parallel sessions or longer meetings will clearly be necessary for future A-T workshops.