Professor S. W. Kuffler

Professor S. W. Kuffler died on 11 October 1980 six months after the Discussion Meeting on which this volume is based. The Workshop was a celebration of Stephen Kuffler’s influence and contributions. This volume now takes on the additional function of a memorial from many of his friends and colleagues who gained inspiration from his work and support from his wise counsel.

This volume is concerned with the processes involved in conduction within, and the interaction between, nerve cells. The articles are based on the second Company of Biologists’ Workshop, which was held in April 1980 at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory. This meeting was dedicated to Professor S. W. Kuffler, whose influence and work represented a uniquely valuable contribution to neurobiological science. The subjects covered in this volume reflect the breadth of Steve Kuffler’s interests; for most of the contributors were, to varying degrees, directly or indirectly influenced by him and by the example of his scientific work.

The topics include the cellular mechanisms of transmitter release, the physiological and biochemical events involved in synapse formation and transmitter choice by neurones, the modulation of synaptic transmission and, Steve Kuffler’s last interest, the localization, biosynthesis and functional role of peptides in the nervous system. We believe these studies provide a useful account of important recent advances that contribute to our understanding of the functioning of the nervous system.

We are indebted to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Rockefeller Institute, the American Society of Biological Chemistry and the Royal Society for permission to reproduce text illustrations. We are also grateful to the Director of the Woods Hole Marine Biological Association for enabling us to hold the Discussion Meeting at Woods Hole and to Mrs M. V. Clements for her assistance in organizing the meeting.