In the general excitement of a time when three-dimensional protein structures of whole genomes are being determined automatically, it is often forgotten that a structure in itself does not tell one how the molecule works or folds.
The Department of Molecular Neurobiology focusses on the generation of mice in which central excitatory synapses exhibit altered plasticity and transmission characteristics. Synapses are elaborated by nerve cells for purposes of communication. Their structure and strength is not static but changes in a development and experience dependent fashion. It is widely believed that learning and memory acquisition are encoded by particular patterns of synaptic efficacies.