The last two years of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) research has yielded a vast literature highlighting the central role IGFs factors play in processes such as development, growth, aging and neurological function. It also provides our latest understanding of how IGF system perturbation is linked to diseases including growth deficiency, cancer, and neurological and cardiovascular diseases. A snapshot of the highlights is presented in this review, focussing on the topics of IGFs and growth, comparative and structural biology to understand insulin-like peptide function, IGFs and cancer, and IGFs and neurological function. New revelations in the IGF field include the unexpected discovery that the gut microbiome has a remarkable influence on the GH/IGF axis to influence growth, that the insulin of cone snails provides novel insight into the mechanism of receptor binding, and that macrophages in the tumour microenvironment can provide IGF-I to promote drug resistance. These advances and many others provide the exciting basis for future development of disease treatments and for biomarkers of disease.