The very modern Kyoto International Conference Center provided the site for the 8th workshop on Beta cells on April 23-26, 2013. The preceding workshops were held in Boston, USA (1991); Kyoto, Japan (1994); Helsingør, Denmark (1997); Helsinki, Finland (2003); El Perello, Spain (2006); Peebles, Scotland (2009); and Helsingør, Denmark (2011). The Kyoto meeting drew more than 200 attendees from 18 different countries. There were 47 main oral presentations, and approximately 75 posters covered virtually all aspects of the pancreas function, development and genetics of disease. Here we will review some of the newest highlights.