Molecular Mechanics of Secretory Pathways

The Stuenkel lab studies the mechanism that controls the release of neurotransmitters from neurons and of hormones from neuroendocrine cells. These secretory pathways are essential for information transfer within the nervous system and for the maintenance of homeostasis within the human body. The mechanisms that control the secretory pathway are intrinsically dynamic, and governed by extensive networks of dynamic molecular interactions. Secretory output is further fine tuned by ongoing electrical activity and/or prior physiological demand. Our long-term aim is to establish a spatial and temporal map of the molecular interactions that regulate secretion and to develop an understanding of how specific interactions regulate the operation of the molecular machine that controls the release of chemical messengers from cells.