My initial research experience involved studying how bacteria synthesize nucleotide sugars, the donors for the formation of cell wall polysaccharides. During this time, I became aware that mammalian cells also have a surface coat of sugars and was intrigued as to whether these sugars might be arranged in specific sequences that function as information molecules in biologic processes. Thus began a long journey that has taken me from glycan structural analysis and determination of plant lectin-binding preferences to the biosynthesis of Asn-linked oligosaccharides and the mannose 6-phosphate (Man-6-P) lysosomal enzyme targeting pathway. The Man-6-P system represents an early example of a glycan serving as an information molecule in a fundamental cellular function. The remarkable advances in the field of glycobiology since I entered have uncovered scores of additional examples of oligosaccharide–lectin interactions mediating critical biologic processes. It has been a rewarding experience to participate in the efforts that have established a central role for glycans in biology.