Short CVJohannes 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.
2013- Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland, School of Life Sciences, Brain Mind Institute.
2009-2013 Postdoctoral fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory.
2009 Postdoctoral associate, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ), Zürich, Switzerland, Brain Research Institute.
2009 PhD in Neurosciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ), Zürich, Switzerland, Department of Biology, Brain Research Institute.
2005 Diploma (M.Sc. equivalent) in Biological Sciences, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, Faculty of Biology and Medicine, Department of Ecology and Evolution.
1998 Matura, Gymnasium Type B, Kantonsschule am Burggraben St. Gallen, Switzerland.
Selected publicationsGräff J.*, Joseph N.F.*, Horn M.E., Meng J., Samiei A., Meng J., Seo J., Rei D., Bero A.W., Phan T.X., Wagner F., Holson E., Xu J., Sun J., Neve R.L., Mach R.H., Haggarty S.J., and L.-H. Tsai, 2014 Epigenetic priming of memory updating during reconsolidation to attenuate remote fear memories. Cell, 156, 261-276. Gräff J., and L.-H.Tsai, 2013 Histone acetylation: Molecular mnemonics on the chromatin. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 14, 97-111. Gräff J., Kahn M., Samiei A., Gao J., Ota K.T., Rei D., and L.-H. Tsai, A Dietary Regimen of Caloric Restriction or Pharmacological Activation of SIRT1 to Delay the Onset of Neurodegeneration. Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 8951-60. Gräff J., Rei D., Guan J.-S., Wang W.-Y., Seo J., Hennig K.M., Nieland T.J.F., Fass D.M., Kao P.F., Kahn M., Su S.C., Samiei A., Joseph N., Haggarty S.J., Delalle I., and L.-H. Tsai, 2012 An epigenetic blockade of cognitive functions in the neurodegenerating brain. Nature, 483, 222-226. Gräff J., Woldemichael B.T., Berchtold D., Dewarrat G., and I.M. Mansuy, 2012 Dynamic epigenetic marks in the hippocampus and cortex promote memory consolidation Nature Communications, 3: 991. Gräff J., and I. M. Mansuy, 2008 Epigenetic Codes in Cognition and Behaviour. Behavioural Brain Research 192, 70-87.
Teaching & PhD
Life Sciences Engineering
Doctoral Program in Neuroscience