Neurons are extraordinarily sophisticated, both electrically and biochemically. These highly interconnected signaling modalities ultimately shape circuit computations and enable their properties to adapt over time. The quest to understand this beautifully complex interplay, from circuit-level ensembles of electrical activity to biochemical intracellular signaling events, inspires the development of experimental tools with ever-increasing specificity. As a junior fellow, I am working at the interface of tool development and deployment, collaborating with Luke Lavis, Jeff Magee, and others at Janelia with the goal of vetting, improving, and deploying a new set of chemical and genetically-encoded tools. The overarching aims of this approach are to characterize principles of neuronal integration governing circuit-level computations, and to dissect mechanisms of biochemical signaling underlying neural plasticity.