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We wish to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate neurotransmitter release and how they contribute to normal physiology, behavior and disease. The lab uses a combination of biochemistry in vitro, optical imaging in primary neuronal culture and genetic manipulation in vivo, and focuses on several fundamental questions: what regulates the amount of transmitter per synaptic vesicle? what is the molecular basis for different synaptic vesicle pools? what is the role of glutamate co-release by monoamine neurons? what mechanisms mediate sorting of proteins to a regulated secretory pathway? what is the role of dendritic release? and how does synaptic function (and the Parkinson’s disease-associated protein synuclein in particular) contribute to neural degeneration?