Evanescent Field (EF) microscopy is used to investigate the spatial and temporal dynamics of proteins in living cells. A genetically engineered ion channel fused to a fluorescent tag is expressed in cells and imaged with an objective-based EF microscope. Images are obtained from a CCD and analyzed to determine fluorescence and velocity of individual protein containing vesicles. An inverse correlation between fluorescent intensity and average motility provides a method for determination of membrane localization. Stimulation and subsequent decrease in ion channel activity is correlated with loss of protein from membrane as shown by EF microscopy and patch-clamp electrophysiology.