Eric Frank, PhD

Eric Frank, PhD

Professor of Integrative Physiology & Pathobiology



BS, Physics, Reed College
PhD, Neurobiology, Harvard University
Postdoctoral Training, University of Oslo; Harvard Medical School


Campus: Boston
Office: M&V 716
Laboratory: M&V 716

Contact Information

Office Phone: 617-636-3666
Lab Phone: 617-636-3709
E-mail   Send an e-mail


Research Web Site  Lab Research Page
Recent Publications  Abstract in PubMed

Graduate Programs

Cellular & Molecular Physiology, Neuroscience


Research Synopsis

I remain active in teaching and service but no longer accept thesis or rotation students. The research in the my laboratory focused on developing therapies for promoting recovery from spinal injuries. Sensory axons normally cannot regrow back into the spinal cord after injury because of inhibitory factors in the cord that block growth and an absence of neurotrophic factors that promote growth. We found that systemic treatments with artemin, a naturally occurring neurotrophic factor, overcome the inhibition, allowing sensory axons to re-establish functional connections in the cord.  Our results with artemin suggest that molecular cues capable of directing the growth of regenerating axons to their targets are present in the adult, mammalian spinal cord. The implication is that these and other cues may also be available to guide the regeneration of other classes of spinal axons, such as those damaged in other types of spinal injuries. If so, it may be possible to develop generalized strategies for promoting specific regeneration of these axons as well.


Apply for 2017 Admission


The priority application deadline for PhD programs is December 1, 2016.