There is a major unmet need for development of innovative strategies for neuroprotection against ischemic brain injury. Here we show that FGL, a neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM)-derived peptide binding to and inducing phosphorylation of the fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR), acts neuroprotectively after an ischemic insult both in vitro and in vivo. The neuroprotective activity of FGL was tested in vitro on dissociated rat hippocampal neurons and hippocampal slice cultures, using a protocol of oxygen–glucose deprivation (OGD). FGL protected hippocampal neurons from damage and maintained or restored their metabolic and presynaptic activity, both if employed as a pretreatment alone to OGD, and if only applied after the insult. In vivo 24 h pretreatment with a single suboccipital injection of FGL significantly protected hippocampal CA1 neurons from death in a transient global ischemia model in the gerbil. We conclude that FGL promotes neuronal survival after ischemic brain injury.