This volume contains the invited papers presented as a symposium of The Phytochemical Society of North America which met for its annual meeting at the Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove, California on June 12-16, 1985. The topic of the symposium, "The Shikimic Acid Pathway - Recent Advances," was especially appropriate for this, the Silver Anniversary of the Society because of the many natural products derived from that pathway. The organizers of the symposium recognized that it would not be possible to cover all groups of compounds derived from shikimic acid and therefore decided to omit any detailed discussion of flavonoid compounds and lignin. Research in these two areas has been the subject of several recent symposiums and/or published volumes. By omitting these topics, it was possible to devote more attention to other, equally interesting products derived from the shikimate pathway. Each chapter in the volume authoritat vely speaks for itself on an important topic. However, the reader is invited to enjoy the lead chapter by Ulrich Weiss who describes his role in the research on the shikimate pathway during 1952/53. We are grateful to Dr. Weiss for this charming account of his work carried out in the laboratory of Dr. B. D. Davis during that period. Those who attended the Silver Anniversary Meeting were privileged to hear Dr. Gestur Johnson reminisce about the founding of the Society, initially called the Plant Phenolics Group of North America. At the annual banquet R. Horwitz also shared with us some recollections of Dr.