Yale has a long history studying membrane traffic, starting with the pioneering studies of George Palade and colleagues, during the '60's and '70's, which laid the foundation for our understanding of the pathway of regulated secretion. The route map was derived by combining biochemical and microscopic approaches.
Present work at Yale continues this tradition, covering all aspects of membrane traffic, using systems that range from yeast to neurons, and a wide range of techniques that encompass the latest methods in video fluorescence microscopy. A common aim continues to be the molecular understanding of protein sorting. Membrane compartments on the exocytic and endocytic pathways rapidly exchange proteins yet maintain their compositional integrity. By understanding the mechanisms that select proteins for transport in vesicles, and target vesicles to the correct membrane, we hope to understand the generation and maintenance of the elaborate membrane systems that uniquely characterize eukaryotic cells.