The SASBMB conference is held biannually and brings together lecturers, researchers, students, industry and society working - or interested in - the broad field of biochemistry and molecular biology. It also brings together the many associated disciplines, such as biotechnology, immunology, and other health/medical, agricultural and natural sciences. This will be the 26th conference of the SASBMB, which has a proud history of presenting this conference over more than four decades on a rotational basis. As is done more or less every third rotation, this conference is held in conjunction with the FASBMB, which brings a broader - African - context to this meeting. Thus, appropriately, the theme for this conference is “Life begins here”, from which we can address a number of topics relevant to health, disease and technology in Africa.