This paper summarizes a conference held at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development on December 6-7, 1999, on self-injurious behavior [SIB] in developmental disabilities. Twenty-six of the top researchers in the U.S. from this field representing 13 different disciplines discussed environmental mechanisms, epidemiology, behavioral and pharmacological intervention strategies, neurochemical substrates, genetic syndromes in which SIB is a prominent behavioral phenotype, neurobiological and neurodevelopmental factors affecting SIB in humans as well as a variety of animal models of SIB. Findings over the last decade, especially new discoveries since 1995, were emphasized. SIB is a rapidly growing area of scientific interest to both basic and applied researchers. In many respects it is a model for the study of gene-brain-behavior relationships in developmental disabilities.