Peter Noakes gained his PhD with Professor Max Bennett at the University of Sydney. He then proceeded to do postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Professor Lewis Wolpert, University College London, and in the laboratories of Professors Joshua Sanes and John Merlie, Washington University School of Medicine.
Dr Noakes then returned Australia and is now located at The University of Queensland. He is the convenor for the teaching of neuroscience to undergraduates within the Faculty of Science, where he teaches cell and molecular neuroscience. He also maintains an active research laboratory, which is affiliated with the Queensland Brain Institute.
Peter’s research interests are to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms that bring about synapse formation, viability and effective function during development of the neuromotor system. His work uses a variety of neural mutant mice, to examine the role of nervous system activity in regulating the numbers of motoneurons needed to make effective connections with their targets, skeletal muscle.
He also works on the role of the innate immune system in the progression of motor neuron disease in animal models of this disorder. These research interests also extend to the underlying molecular mechanisms that drive formation and stability of the neuromuscular synapses, the specialised connection between motor neurons and skeletal muscle.