Professor Dr. Frank Bradke

Group Leader, Axon Growth and Regeneration
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 27
D- 53127 Bonn

Phone +49  (0) 228 43302-590
Fax +49  (0) 228 43302-688


Curriculum vitae Professor Dr. Frank Bradke

Research Interests

Research in our lab has focused on the intracellular mechanisms regulating axon growth during development and after injury with a particular emphasis onto the cytoskeleton. Over the years we have mainly dealt with two interrelated questions:

  1. What are the intracellular mechanisms and physiological relevant genes for neuronal polarization, i.e. axon formation?
  2. Which intracellular mechanisms prevent axon regeneration after central nervous system (CNS) injury?

Our result indicate that the intracellular mechanisms mediating axon growth during development share similarities with the ones that could regulate axon regeneration so that the separate approaches complement each other. The ultimate aim is to reactivate the polarization program in injured neurons to elicit axon regeneration in the CNS.


We have expertise in in vivo imaging of axons, whole tissue imaging, time lapse microscopy, mouse genetics, biochemistry and molecular and cell biology.

5 most important publications

1.  Ruschel J, Hellal F, Flynn KC, Dupraz S, Elliott DA, Tedeschi A, Bates M, Sliwinski C, Brook G, Dobrindt K, Peitz M, Brüstle O, Norenberg MD, Blesch A, Weidner N, Bunge MB, Bixby JL, Bradke F. (2015) Axonal regeneration. Systemic administration of epothilone B promotes axon regeneration after spinal cord injury. Science, 348(6232): 347-352.

2.  Flynn KC, Hellal F, Neukirchen D, Jacobs S, Tahirovic S, Dupraz S, Stern S, Garvalov BK, Gurniak C,
Shaw A, Meyn L, Wedlich-Söldner R, Bamburg JR, Small JV, Witke W, Bradke F. (2012). ADF/cofilinmediated Actin Retrograde Flow Directs Neurite Formation in the Developing Brain. Neuron, 76: 1091-107.

3. Ertürk A, Mauch CP, Hellal F, Förstner F, Keck T, Becker K, Jährling N, Steffens H, Richter M, Hübener M, Kramer E, Kirchhoff F, Dodt HU, Bradke F. (2011) 3D imaging of the unsectioned adult spinal cord to assess axon regeneration and glial responses after injury. Nature Medicine, 18: 166-171.

4. Hellal F, Hurtado A, Ruschel J, Flynn KC, Laskowski CJ, Umlauf M, Kapitein LC, Strikis D, Lemmon V,
Bixby J, Hoogenraad CC, Bradke F. (2011). Microtubule Stabilization Reduces Scarring and Causes Axon Regeneration After Spinal Cord Injury. Science, 331: 928-31.

5. Stiess M, Maghelli M, Kapitein L, Gomis-Rüth S, Wilsch-Bräuninger M, Hoogenraad CC, Tolic-Nørrelykke IM, Bradke F. (2010) Axon extension occurs independently of centrosomal microtubule nucleation. Science, 327: 704-707.