Progress in understanding the biology of the neurofibromatoses (NF1 and NF2) offers hope for the development of new, effective methods of treatment. In May 2000, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) hosted a workshop that included leading researchers and clinicians from the NF community. The goal of the meeting was to assess current knowledge and identify priorities for future research. Needs identified included the development of better animal models, further study of the function of the NF1 and NF2 genes, and investigation of the role of modifier genes. The participants agreed that it will also be important to define further the natural history of NF1 and NF2 and to develop an infrastructure to support clinical trials. They also discussed the possible creation of research consortia and NF centers to promote the integration of basic and clinical research.