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Kang Shen wants to understand the mechanisms underlying various aspects of neural circuit assembly at the molecular level. Working in the nematode C. elegans, Shen and his team study key cell biological events during development and maintenance of neural circuits, including synaptic specificity and assembly as well as axonal transport, cytoskeletal polarity in neurons, and dendrite branching and growth. To do this, the team applies a wide range of approaches and techniques, from genetics, molecular biology, and gene expression to biochemistry, microscopy, flow cytometry, and behavioral assays.