Head of Laboratory

Peter G. Noakes


MacGregor Building (#63), Room 422 to 421


Peter G. Noakes
Mary White
Maryam Shayegh


John Lee, PhD student
Matt Fogarty, PhD student
Haitao Wang, PhD student
Kah Meng Lee, PhD student
Wachizya Nyirenda, Honours student
Cheng Han Goh, Honours student


Peter G. Noakes is investigating the cell and molecular mechanisms that underlie the development and breakdown of the neuro-motor system. His lab works on the following: 1) cell and molecular mechanisms surrounding the establishment of neuromuscular and motor neuron (CNS) synapses, including electrophysiology. 2) The generation and development of motoneurons in health and in disease (e.g. motor neuron disease {ALS}). 3) The role of innate immune system in motor neuron health and disease. His lab employs biochemistry, immuno-histology, electrophysiology, live cell imaging, behaviour, cell and molecular biology to study these issues.

Neuromuscular synapse
Neuromuscular synapse
Motoneuron glutamergic synapses
Motoneuron glutamergic synapses
C5 expressing motoneurons

Selection of publications

  1. Fogarty MJ, Smallcombe KL, Yanagawa Y, Obata K, Bellingham MC, and Noakes P.G.. (2013) Genetic Deficiency of GABA Differentially Regulates Respiratory and Non-Respiratory Motor Neuron Development. Ms. No. PONE-D-12-34918R1. To be published PLOS ONE on February 15, 2013.
  2. Narayanan RK, Mangelsdorf ME, Panwar A, Butler TJ, Noakes PG, and Wallace RH. Identification of RNA bound to the TDP-43 ribonucleoprotein complex in the adult mouse brain. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemproal Degeneration. (2012). 2012 Oct 24. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23134510.
  3. Lee JD, Lee JY, Taylor SM, Noakes PG and Woodruff TM. Innate Immunity in ALS Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Editor Mh Maurer. (2012) pp: 393-412. (Book/Chapter).
  4. Ngo, S.T., Cole, R.N., Sunn, N., Phillips, W.D. and Noakes, PG. Neuregulin potentiates agrin-induced acetylcholine receptor clustering via muscle specific kinase phosphorylation. Journal of Cell Science (2012) 125: 1531-1543.
  5. Ghazanfari N, Fernandez KJ, Murata Y, Morsch M, Ngo ST, Reddel SW, Noakes PG, Phillips WD. Muscle Specific Kinase: Organiser of synaptic membrane domains. International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (2011) 43: 295-298.

Student projects

We have a variety of projects for both honours and PhD that from part of our research interests in the neuromotor system in health, ageing and disease. We are also keen to employ techniques to build artificial synaptic connections with our colleague Dr Lavidis.

Research support