The first morning session of the Eighth International Conference of the Inflammation Research Association was titled 'Targets in Cytokine Activation'. It encompassed four areas of research that may be considered as either current or future targets. Probably the best established target of the four is interleukin-1β converting enzyme (ICE) and Winnie Wong from BASF Bioresearch Corporation presented an overview of work in this field. This was followed by a newly emerging target called TACE (TNF-α converting enzyme) in a presentation from Douglas Cerretti of Immunex. The final two presentations covered work with chemoattractant receptors and mice where the inducible NO synthase gene had been deleted.