Some of thebest scientific medical researchers in the world have arrived on the Gold Coast, signalling the city as an “epicentre for world-class research”.

Leading scientists and doctors from prestigious research institutes and universities across 14 different countries are attending the Sialoglyco 2014 conference run by Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics.

The researchers are leaders in their fields in the search to find cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease or infectious disease.

Institute for Glycomics Director Professor Mark von Itzstein (pictured) said the conference featured everything to do with sialic acid-related research, the study of complex sugars in the body.

“There are essential sugars in life that attach to our cells and when things go wrong, disease occurs like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease,” Professor von Itzstein said.

“These organisms invade our bodies using these sugars. It’s like a glue between the organism and the cell — it sticks the bug to the cell so infection can set in. It’s amazing one sugar can be involved in so much.”