The research efforts of the institute primarily focus on studying the functional interactions of the cortical actin cytoskeleton, which supports, shapes and moves the plasma membrane of each eukaryotic cell and helps to generate specialized cellular features and structures, with membrane trafficking processes and with modulations of membrane topology. This work provides important insights into both the individual processes and their functional interactions. Such interactions seem to be very important for the development and control of defined cell morphologies, for cell movement and polarity, for the special performance of secretory cells, and for the organization of functional tissues and organs. It is for example a basis for the generation, the maintenance and the reorganization of functional and morphological specializations of cells, such as the synaptic junctions of neurons. The communication and usage-dependent alteration of synaptic transmission are the basis for learning and memory.