Membranes and their protein organization are a frontier in our understanding of cell biology. We focus on polarized trafficking as a model to uncover fundamental mechanisms in the organization of structures at membranes. We aim to understand the role of protein complexes including the exocyst. This project seeks to answer mechanistic questions regarding 1) the regulation of protein structural mechanics in polarized trafficking, 2) and the consequences of signalling on this pathway and its organization. Because signalling in polarized trafficking is directly related to both human development and disease, we position our research for the broadest impact. We take a reconstitution and synthetic biology approach in combination with the powerful tools available for microscopy. This strategy will require combining recombinant protein techniques and biophysical membrane methods with experimental cell biology. Our philosophy is to address these questions of challenging biology using quantitative methods in a hypothesis-driven approach.