Bonn/Alicante, July, 24th, 2023. Neurobiologist Frank Bradke, a senior researcher at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and a professor at the University of Bonn, will be awarded with the „Remedios Caro Almela Prize for Research in Developmental Neurobiology“, which is endowed with 25,000 Euros. He is being honored for his groundbreaking research on the growth and regeneration of neurons. The award ceremony will take place in Alicante, Spain in November.
Since 2011, Frank Bradke and his team have been investigating at DZNE how nerve cells grow in their early developmental phases and whether it is possible to reactivate the growth of cells of the central nervous system even in the adult. They have achieved groundbreaking findings in particular about the growth of axons, those long extensions of nerve cells that do not regenerate on their own after lesion and thus play a decisive role in spinal cord injuries and the associated paraplegia. With their work, they are laying the foundations for possible pharmacological therapies for these injuries.
“I am really excited about this award. Many of my ‘scientific heroes’ received this prize in the past”, Bradke said. “And I feel humbled by the jury that selected me to be part of this group. The prize is an outstanding recognition of the research of our lab. Over the years, lab members, including Postdocs, PhD students and technicians, contributed with very diverse backgrounds and their individual work and perspective to our joint research effort. Their success is reflected in this prize.”
For Prof. Pierlugi Nicotera, Scientific Director and Chairman of the Board of the DZNE, the award is a well-deserved recognition of the excellent research conducted at DZNE by Frank Bradke and his research group: “Frank Bradke is one of the world’s key experts in regenerative neurobiology, and we are delighted that he is receiving the international recognition he deserves for the pioneering research he has been conducting for many years. The award is further confirmation of him being on the right track.”
The objective of the Remedios Caro Almela Prize for Research in Developmental Neurobiology is to recognize the work of European researchers who have carried out particularly outstanding scientific work in this field and who are currently carrying out cutting-edge research in the development of the nervous system. The biennial award is organized by the Institute for Neuroscience UMH-CSIC and the University Miguel Hernandez de Elche in collaboration with the Martinez-Caro family.
During the award ceremony, which will take place on November 24th, Frank Bradke will give a lecture at the XI. Caro Almela Conference at the Institute for Neurosciences UMH-CSI, in order to present his scientific achievements.
On the laureate: After studying at the Freie Universität Berlin and University College London, Bradke carried out research at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg as part of his doctoral thesis. As a postdoctoral researcher, he moved to the University of California in San Francisco and Stanford University in 2000. In 2003, he was appointed a group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried. In 2011, he was awarded the IRP Schellenberg Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in the field of regeneration research. In the same year he became full professor at the University of Bonn, and was appointed head of the Axon Growth and Regeneration research group at the DZNE. Bradke is an elected a member of the Leopoldina (the German National Academy of Sciences), the Academia Europaea, and the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). In 2016, he was awarded the Leibniz Prize, which is the most important research award in Germany. In 2018, he received the Roger de Spoelberch Prize, which is awarded by the Swiss foundation of the same name. In 2021, he was awarded the Carl Zeiss Lecture of the German Society for Cell Biology.
About Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen, DZNE (German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases): DZNE is a research institute funded by the German federal and state governments, comprising ten sites across Germany. It is dedicated to diseases of the brain and nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS, which are associated with dementia, movement disorders and other serious health impairments. To date, there are no cures for these diseases, which represent an enormous burden for countless affected individuals, their families, and the healthcare system. The aim of DZNE is to develop novel strategies for prevention, diagnosis, care, as well as treatment, and to transfer them into practice. To this end, DZNE cooperates with universities, university hospitals, research centers and other institutions in Germany and abroad. The institute is a member of the Helmholtz Association and belongs to the German Centers for Health Research.