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Axel Brunger is interested in the molecular mechanisms behind the release of neurotransmitters when synaptic vesicles fuse with active zones of presynaptic neurons and how these mechanisms relate to physiological function. To capture and study the protein machinery at work, Brunger and his team determine 3-D structures or images from atomic to cellular resolutions. These structures then frame further investigations involving biophysical methods, optical microscopy, and experimentation in live neurons to explore the functional and dynamic aspects of neurotransmitter release. The team’s work may provide possible targets for therapeutics.