Thomas Misgeld

Hans Fischer Tenure Track

Technical University of Munich


Arthur Konnerth

Focus Group

Short CV

From 1991 Thomas Misgeld studied medicine at Technische Universität München. From 1993 to 1999 he performed research with Prof. H. Wekerle for his M.D. thesis at the Max-Planck-Institute of Neurobiology (department of Neuroimmunology) in Martinsried. For his efforts he received the thesis award for the best thesis in medicine from TUM. In 1999 he was awarded his Ph.D. degree at TUM and started an internship at the Institute of Clinical Neuroimmunology at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. From 2000 to 2004 he worked with Prof. J. Lichtman as Post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Washington University in St. Louis (USA). In 2004 Misgeld joined Harvard University in Cambridge as a Post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Since September 2006 he runs his own laboratory, which is located at the TUM Institute of Neuroscience. Presently Misgeld is a W3-Professor for Biomolecular Sensors at TUM and the Center for Integrated Protein Science (CIPSM).

Selected Awards

  • 2007, Schilling-Award, German Neuroscience Society
  • 2006, Sofja-Kovalevskaja Award, Alexander-of-Humboldt Foundation
  • 2005, Robert-Feulgen Award, Histochemical Society
  • 2004, Wyeth young investigator Prize in multiple sclerosis

Research Interests

The Misgeld lab studies axon changes in the healthy and in the sick nervous system of living animals. Axons are the long neuronal processes that form synapses and thus interconnect different parts of the nervous system.
Obviously, to properly establish wiring in the brain, myriads of axons have to find their targets, or otherwise, axons that connect incorrectly need to be removed. We are interested in the latter process - not only because such axon dismantling contributes fundamentally to brain development and to the adaptation of neural circuits to the environment, but also because axons are highly susceptible to pathology. Many common neurological diseases are characterized by early loss of axonal connections - including motor neuron disease, spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis, all of which we study.
By better understanding axon dismantling in development and disease we hope to gain insight into what causes axons to disintegrate in disease.

Selected Publications

  • Misgeld, Thomas; Kerschensteiner, Martin: In vivo imaging of the diseased nervous system. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 7 (6), 2006, 449-463.
  • Bareyre, Florence M; Kerschensteiner, Martin; Misgeld, Thomas; Sanes, Joshua R: Transgenic labeling of the corticospinal tract for monitoring axonal responses to spinal cord injury. Nature Medicine 11 (12), 2005, 1355-1360.
  • Kerschensteiner, Martin; Schwab, Martin E; Lichtman, Jeff W; Misgeld, Thomas: In vivo imaging of axonal degeneration and regeneration in the injured spinal cord. Nature Medicine 11 (5), 2005, 572-577.
  • Bishop, Derron L.; Misgeld, Thomas; Walsh, Mark K.; Gan, Wen-Biao; Lichtman, Jeff W.: Axon Branch Removal at Developing Synapses by Axosome Shedding. Neuron 44 (4), 2004, 651-661.
  • Bidoia, C.; Misgeld, T.; Weinzierl, E.; Buffelli, M.; Feng, G.; Cangiano, A.; Lichtman, J.W.; Sanes, J.R.: Comment on "Reelin Promotes Peripheral Synapse Elimination and Maturation". Science 303 (5666), 2004, 1977b-1977b.
  • Misgeld, Thomas; Burgess, Robert W; Lewis, Renate M; Cunningham, Jeanette M; Lichtman, Jeff W; Sanes, Joshua R: Roles of Neurotransmitter in Synapse Formation. Neuron 36 (4), 2002, 635-648.

Publications as TUM-IAS-Fellow


  • Fecher, Caroline; Trovò, Laura; Müller, Stephan A.; Snaidero, Nicolas; Wettmarshausen, Jennifer; Heink, Sylvia; Ortiz, Oskar; Wagner, Ingrid; Kühn, Ralf; Hartmann, Jana; Karl, Rosa Maria; Konnerth, Arthur; Korn, Thomas; Wurst, Wolfgang; Merkler, Doron; Lichtenthaler, Stefan F.; Perocchi, Fabiana; Misgeld, Thomas: Cell-type-specific profiling of brain mitochondria reveals functional and molecular diversity. Nature Neuroscience 22 (10), 2019, 1731-1742 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Witte, Maarten E.; Schumacher, Adrian-Minh; Mahler, Christoph F.; Bewersdorf, Jan P.; Lehmitz, Jonas; Scheiter, Alexander; Sánchez, Paula; Williams, Philip R.; Griesbeck, Oliver; Naumann, Ronald; Misgeld, Thomas; Kerschensteiner, Martin: Calcium Influx through Plasma-Membrane Nanoruptures Drives Axon Degeneration in a Model of Multiple Sclerosis. Neuron 101 (4), 2019, 615-624.e5 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )


  • Colombo, Alessio; Hsia, Hung‐En; Wang, Mengzhe; Kuhn, Peer‐Hendrik; Brill, Monika S; Canevazzi, Paolo; Feederle, Regina; Taveggia, Carla; Misgeld, Thomas; Lichtenthaler, Stefan F: Non‐cell‐autonomous function of DR6 in Schwann cell proliferation. The EMBO Journal 37 (7), 2018, e97390 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Kiss, Alexa; Fischer, Irmgard; Kleele, Tatjana; Misgeld, Thomas; Propst, Friedrich: Neuronal Growth Cone Size-Dependent and -Independent Parameters of Microtubule Polymerization. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 12, 2018 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )


  • Breckwoldt, Michael O; Pfister, Franz M J; Bradley, Peter M; Marinković, Petar; Williams, Philip R; Brill, Monika S; Plomer, Barbara; Schmalz, Anja; St Clair, Daret K; Naumann, Ronald; Griesbeck, Oliver; Schwarzländer, Markus; Godinho, Leanne; Bareyre, Florence M; Dick, Tobias P; Kerschensteiner, Martin; Misgeld, Thomas: Multiparametric optical analysis of mitochondrial redox signals during neuronal physiology and pathology in vivo. Nature Medicine 20 (5), 2014, 555-560 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )


  • Brill, Monika S.; Marinković, Petar; Misgeld, Thomas: Sequential Photo-bleaching to Delineate Single Schwann Cells at the Neuromuscular Junction. Journal of Visualized Experiments (71), 2013 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Brill, Monika S.; Marinković, Petar; Misgeld, Thomas: Sequential Photo-bleaching to Delineate Single Schwann Cells at the Neuromuscular Junction. Journal of Visualized Experiments (71), 2013 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )


  • Marinkovic, P.; Reuter, M. S.; Brill, M. S.; Godinho, L.; Kerschensteiner, M.; Misgeld, T.: Axonal transport deficits and degeneration can evolve independently in mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109 (11), 2012, 4296-4301 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Plucinska, G.; Paquet, D.; Hruscha, A.; Godinho, L.; Haass, C.; Schmid, B.; Misgeld, T.: In Vivo Imaging of Disease-Related Mitochondrial Dynamics in a Vertebrate Model System. Journal of Neuroscience 32 (46), 2012, 16203-16212 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )


  • Bishop, Derron; Nikić, Ivana; Brinkoetter, Mary; Knecht, Sharmon; Potz, Stephanie; Kerschensteiner, Martin; Misgeld, Thomas: Near-infrared branding efficiently correlates light and electron microscopy. Nature Methods 8 (7), 2011, 568-570 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Brill, Monika S.; Lichtman, Jeff W.; Thompson, Wesley; Zuo, Yi; Misgeld, Thomas: Spatial constraints dictate glial territories at murine neuromuscular junctions. J Cell Biol 195 (2), 2011, 293-305 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Nikić, Ivana; Merkler, Doron; Sorbara, Catherine; Brinkoetter, Mary; Kreutzfeldt, Mario; Bareyre, Florence M; Brück, Wolfgang; Bishop, Derron; Misgeld, Thomas; Kerschensteiner, Martin: A reversible form of axon damage in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and multiple sclerosis. Nature Medicine 17 (4), 2011, 495-499 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )


  • Kerschensteiner, Martin; Reuter, Miriam S; Lichtman, Jeff W; Misgeld, Thomas: Ex vivo imaging of motor axon dynamics in murine triangularis sterni explants. Nature Protocols 3 (10), 2008, 1645-1653 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )


  • Misgeld, Thomas; Kerschensteiner, Martin; Bareyre, Florence M; Burgess, Robert W; Lichtman, Jeff W: Imaging axonal transport of mitochondria in vivo. Nature Methods 4 (7), 2007, 559-561 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )
  • Misgeld, Thomas; Nikic, Ivana; Kerschensteiner, Martin: In vivo imaging of single axons in the mouse spinal cord. Nat Protoc 2 (2), 2007, 263-268 more… BibTeX Full text ( DOI )