Peter Juo

Peter Juo

(617) 636-3950
150 Harrison Ave
Research/Areas of Interest:

Our laboratory is interested in identifying genes and molecular mechanisms involved in the targeting and turnover of synaptic proteins. We use a combination of genetics, biochemistry, in vivo fluorescence imaging and behavior to study the localization and regulation of postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptors. Understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in localizing and regulating synaptic proteins will reveal how synapses are built during development (synaptogenesis), and regulated in the mature nervous system during learning and memory. Studies revealing the function of proteins at normal synapses will provide the foundation for understanding the molecular basis of aberrant synaptic transmission observed in various neurological diseases.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Harvard University, USA, 1999
  • Master of Science, Harvard University, USA, 1995
  • Bachelor of Science, Texas A&M University, USA, 1993


I am interested in understanding the cell biological mechanisms that regulate glutamatergic synapse development and function. In particular, we are interested in mechanisms that regulate the trafficking and turnover of glutamate receptors (GluRs) at synapses. We use a combination of genetic, biochemical and imaging approaches to study GluR trafficking in vivo in the genetic model C. elegans. I am dedicated to mentoring and training graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate students. Since starting my laboratory in 2005, I have trained (including present trainees) 4 postdoctoral fellows, 5 Ph.D. thesis students, 2 MD-Ph.D. students, 16 undergraduate students and 3 high school students. The 4 postdoctoral fellows trained in my lab have all successfully obtained tenure-track Assistant Professor positions (at Butler University, IN, Western Washington University, WA, Simmons University, MA, and Suffolk University, MA). Additionally, I have mentored 24 graduate students during their rotations, 7 Masters in Biomedical Sciences (MBS) literature thesis students and 2 MBS research thesis students, and served on 32 Ph.D. thesis advisory committees. I served as the graduate student Program Advisor from 2010-2012 and received the student-nominated Outstanding Graduate Biomedical School Faculty Mentor Award in 2011. I am a Career Advisor for an NIH-funded postdoctoral program (TEACRS-IRACDA program) at Tufts and am currently the Chair of the admissions committee for the Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology (CMDB) graduate program. As part of our science education outreach, my postdoctoral fellows and I have taught several genetics and neurobiology lab modules at local high schools and at Pine Manor College, a minority serving local college. One of my current Ph.D. thesis candidates is being supported by this T32 training grant and has benefited immensely from the training experience. The program provides excellent scientific and career development opportunities as well as ample oral presentation training. Support from this training grant enabled my student to attend and present her research at a Gordon Conference (Cell Biology of the Neuron) and at the International C. elegans Conference this summer. These opportunities will greatly benefit her scientific and professional development.