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Professor Dr. Frank Bradke

Neuroregeneration, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Bonn

Prof. Dr. Frank Bradke

Prof. Dr. Frank Bradke

© DFG / Ausserhofer

Frank Bradke has been selected for the 2016 Leibniz Prize for his pioneering research in the field of regenerative neurobiology. His main interest is in the growth of axons, the projections of nerve cells. The impaired regenerative ability of axons plays an important role in paraplegia. In a series of connected studies, Bradke investigated how these fibres can be encouraged to grow again. First he discovered that the microtubules in the axon, essential to the stability of the cytoskeleton, are much more stable than in other cell projections. This gave rise to the equally far-reaching insight that the pharmacological stabilisation of these microtubules could stimulate the regeneration of the axon. Finally came the realisation, as unexpected as it was groundbreaking, that this pharmacological stabilisation also inhibits scarring in the spinal cord. All these and other areas of Bradke's work are exceedingly important to both basic research and therapeutic approaches.

Frank Bradke studied biochemistry in London and Berlin. After obtaining his doctorate in Heidelberg and researching in both Stanford and San Francisco, he led an independent junior research group at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried. Since 2011 he has worked at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) in Bonn. He is also a professor at the University of Bonn.

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