Thomas C. Südhof is a German American neuroscientist who discovered key molecular components and mechanisms that form the basis of chemical signaling in neurons. His findings helped scientists to better understand the cellular mechanisms underlying neurological conditions such as autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease. For his breakthroughs, Südhof was awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. In addition to the Nobel Prize, Südhof received the 2010 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience (with Rothman) and the 2013 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award. Throughout his career much of Südhof’s research focused on presynaptic neurons, which release neurotransmitters into the synapse between communicating cells. He elucidated the process by which synaptic vesicles, which are filled with neurotransmitters, fuse with neuronal membranes and undergo exocytosis, in which they release their neurotransmitters into the extracellular environment. He found that specific interactions between proteins, such as between Munc18-1 and SNARE proteins, as well as a molecular complex based on the proteins RIM and Munc13, are required for synaptic vesicle fusion.