Franck Polleux, PhD

Departments And Divisions

  • Department of Neuroscience
  • Professor of Neuroscience
Franck Polleux, <span>PhD</span>

Dr. Polleux did his undergraduate and graduate studies at Université Claude Bernard in Lyon, (France) where he obtained his PhD in Neuroscience in 1997. He then joined the laboratory of Dr. Anirvan Ghosh at Johns Hopkins University for his post-doctoral training. In 2002, Dr. Polleux was hired as an Assistant Professor in the Neuroscience Center and Department of Pharmacology at University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill where he became an Associate Professor in 2008. In August 2010, he joined The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

In November 2013, he was recruited as a Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Columbia University to join the new Mind, Brain, Behavior Institute.

Throughout his career, Dr. Polleux has focused on the identification of the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal development in the mammalian brain. More recently, his lab also started studying the genetic basis of human brain evolution as well as the signaling pathways underlying synaptic loss during early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease progression.

Lab Locations

  • Jerome L. Greene Science Center

    3227 Broadway
    Quad 5C
    New York, NY 10027
    (212) 853-0407
    Lab Phone:
    (212) 853-0406

Past Positions

  • July 2010 to October 2013: Professor, The Scripps Research Institute- La Jolla, CA.  Dorris Neuroscience Center
  • July 2008 to June 2010: Associate Professor,  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Neuroscience Center, Department of Pharmacology
  • October 2002 to July 2008: Assistant Professor,  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Neuroscience Center, Department of Pharmacology
  • April 2000 to Sept. 2002: Research Investigator,  INSERM (French National Institute of Health) U371 - France
  • June 1997 to April 2000: Post-doctoral scholar,  Laboratory of Anirvan Ghosh, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine Baltimore, MD (USA)

Honors & Awards

  • 1993-1997: Graduate Training Award from the French Ministry of Research and Technology
  • 1999: Albert L. Lehninger Research Prize for Post-doctoral Research - Johns Hopkins University
  • 2000-2001: INSERM-CFB award for a European collaborative project with the group of Dr Vanderhaeghen, University of Brussels –Belgium.
  • 2004-2007: March of Dimes Birth Defect Foundation Award
  • 2005-2009: Pew Scholar Award in Biomedical Sciences
  • 2005-2007: NARSAD Young Investigator Award
  • 2007-2009: NARSAD Young Investigator Award
  • 2008-2012: Permanent member on NIH Study Section Neuronal Differentiation, Plasticity and Regeneration (NDPR)
  • 2009-present: Member of Faculty 1000 – Developmental Neurobiology Section
  • 2010-2012: Co-Chair (2010) and Chair (2012) Gordon Conference, Neural Development - Salve Regina, RI
  • 2012: Member of the Editorial Board of PLoS Biology
  • 2012: Member of the Board of Reviewing Editors of eLife

Research Interests

  • Synapses and Circuits
  • Axon Pathfinding and Synaptogenesis
  • Cell Specification and Differentiation

Lab Members

  • Ewoud Schmidt, Postdoc
  • Tommy Lewis, Postdoc
  • Justine Kupfeman, Postdoc
  • Seok-Kyu Kwon, Postdoc
  • Chandana Kondapalli, Postdoc
  • Yusuke Hirabayashi, Postdoc
  • Miyako Hirabayashi, Technician
  • Daniel Iascone, Graduate Student
  • Annie Lee, Graduate Student
  • Sara Jacobs, Administrative Assistant


Anton Maximov, Assistant Professor, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla CA. The Maximov lab is helping us characterize the role of LKB1 kinase pathway on presynaptic release properties of cortical neurons.


Courchet J.*, Lewis T. Jr*, Aizawa S. and Polleux F. (2013) Terminal axon branching is regulated by the LKB1-NUAK1 kinase pathway via presynaptic mitochondrial capture. Cell 153:1510-1525.
Mairet-Coello G, Courchet J, Pieraut S, Courchet V, Maximov A and Polleux F. (2013) The CAMKK2-AMPK Kinase Pathway Mediates the Synaptotoxic Effects of Abeta Oligomers through Tau Phosphorylation. Neuron 78:94-108.
Charrier C*, Joshi K*, Coutinho-Budd J, Kim JE, Lambert N, de Marchena J, Jin WL, Vanderhaeghen P, Ghosh A, Sassa T, Polleux F. (2012) Inhibition of SRGAP2 function by its human-specific paralogs induces neoteny during spine maturation. Cell 149:923-35. 
Coutinho-Budd J, Ghukasyan V, Zylka MJ, Polleux F. (2012) The F-BAR domains from SRGAP1, SRGAP2 and SRGAP3 differentially regulate membrane deformation. Journal of Cell Science 125:3390-401. 
Hand R., Polleux F. (2011) Neurogenin2 regulates the initial axon guidance of cortical pyramidal neurons projecting medially to the corpus callosum. Neural Development.
Williams T*., Courchet J.*, Viollet B., Brenman J.E., Polleux F. (2011) AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity is not required for neuronal development but regulates axogenesis during metabolic stress. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 108:5849-54.
Yi J.J.,  Barnes A.P., Hand R., Polleux F. and Ehlers M.D. (2010) TGFβ signaling specifies axons during brain development. Cell 142:144-57.
Guerrier S., Coutinho-Budd J., Sassa T., Vincent-Jordan N., Frost A., and Polleux F. (2009) The F-BAR domain of srGAP2 induces membrane protrusions required for neuronal migration and morphogenesis. Cell 138:990-1004.
Bortone D.  and Polleux F. (2009) KCC2 expression promotes the termination of cortical interneuron migration in a voltage-sensitive calcium-dependent manner. Neuron 62:53-71. (Featured Article)
Powell A., Sassa T., Wu Y.Q., Tessier-Lavigne M., and Polleux F. (2008) Netrin-1 specifies the topography of thalamocortical projections in the ventral telencephalon through its attractive and repulsive activities. PLoS Biology  6(5):e116.

For a complete list of publications, please visit