Johannes Gräff

photo placeholder image

Associate Professor +41 21 693 07 13

Citizenship : Swiss

Short CV
Johannes Gräff was born and raised in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, in St. Gallen. After high school, he moved across the language boarder to the French-speaking University of Lausanne, where he completed his undergraduate studies. During those, he spent one year at the University of British Columbia (UBC), in Vancouver, Canada, where he started to become interested in neuroscience and psychology. His M.Sc. thesis, conducted with Laurent Keller in 2005, then focused on the genetic causes of aging in ants. Intrigued by how genes can influence behavior – and vice versa – he started a Ph.D. thesis in the lab of Isabelle Mansuy at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETHZ) to specialize on the neuroepigenetic mechanisms that regulate learning and memory. He obtained his Ph.D. in 2009, and stayed on for a short while as a postdoctoral fellow. In 2009, he moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, USA to start his postdoctoral work under the supervision of Li-Huei Tsai. During this time, he could for the first time show that the epigenetic machinery is causally involved in cognitive decline associated with neurodegeneration, as well as with updating long-term traumatic memories in a mouse model of post-traumatic stress disorder. Since 2013, Johannes Gräff is a tenure-track assistant professor at the Brain Mind Institute of the School of Life Sciences, and the Nestle Chair for Neurosciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). He is also a founding member of the FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence, a MQ fellow, a NARSAD Independent Investigator and holds an ERC StG.

AI 2137.1 (Bâtiment AI)
Station 19
CH-1015 Lausanne

Web site: Web site:

AI 2137.1 (Bâtiment AI)
Station 19
CH-1015 Lausanne

Web site: Web site:

Administrative data


Other publications

Teaching & PhD


Life Sciences Engineering

PhD Programs

Doctoral Program in Neuroscience


Neuroscience: from molecular mechanisms to disease

The goal of the course is to guide students through the essential aspects of molecular neuroscience and neurodegenerative diseases. The student will gain the ability to dissect the molecular basis of disease in the nervous system in order to begin to understand and identify therapeutic strategies.

Scientific project design in translational neurosciences

The goal of this course is to instruct the student how fundamental scientific knowledge, acquired through the study of fundamental disciplines, including biochemistry, genetics, pharmacology, physiology, genomics, cell and molecular biology can be applied for drug discovery and development.

State of the Art Topics in Neuroscience X

This symposium "What is memory? Molecular, cellular and computational answers" brings together leading experts in the field of learning and memory who will share their latest findings on the eternal question- What are memories made of? A broad range of approaches will be covered

General Biology

The purpose of the course is to provide a general overview of the biology of cells and organisms. We will discuss this in the context of cell and organ life, focusing on the regulatory principles you will encounter in your biology studies.