Johannes Gräff

photo placeholder image

Assistant Professor +41 21 69 30713

Citizenship : Swiss

CV (current as of 05/2018)
1) Academic appointments Nov. 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, MA, USA, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory. 2009 Postdoctoral associate, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ), Zürich, Switzerland, Department of Biology, Brain Research Institute. 2005-2009 PhD student, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ), Zürich, Switzerland, Department of Biology, Brain Research Institute. 2) Education 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. 2003-2004 Exchange year, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology. 1998 Matura, Gymnasium Type B, Kantonsschule am Burggraben St. Gallen, Switzerland. 3) Publications 2018 - Sanchez-Mut J.V., Heyn H., Silva B.A., Dixsaut L., Garcia-Esparcia P., Vidal E., Sayols S., Glauser L., Monteagudo-Sánchez A., Perez-Tur J., Ferrer I., Monk D., Esteller M. and J. Gräff, 2018 “PM20D1 is a methylation quantitative trait locus is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.” Nature Medicine, 24, 598-603. - Albo, Z. and J. Gräff, 2018 “The mysteries of remote memory.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 373: 20170029. 2017 - Frangeul L., Kehayas V., Sanchez-Mut J.V., Fièvre S., Krishna K., Pouchelon G., Telley L., Bellone C., Holtmaat A., Gräff J., Macklis J., and D. Jabaudon, 2017 “Input-dependent regulation of excitability controls dendritic maturation in somatosensory thalamocortical neurons.” Nature Communications, 8: 2015. - J. Gräff, 2017 “FORMINg a link between PTSD and AD.” The EMBO Journal, 36, 2809-2811. Sanchez-Mut J.V., Heyn H., Vidal E., Delgado-Morales R., Moran S., Sayols S., Sandoval J., Ferrer I., Esteller M., and J. Gräff, 2017 “Whole Genome Grey and White matter DNA Methylation Profiles in Dorsolateral Prefrontal cortex.” Synapse, 71 (6).2016 - Silva B.A., Gross, C.T. and J.Gräff, 2016 “The neural circuits of innate fear: detection, integration, action, and memorization.” Learning & Memory, 23, 544-55. - Anda F.C., Madabhushi R., Rei D., Meng J., Gräff J., Durak O., Meletis K., Richter M., Schwanke B., Mungenast A., and L.-H. Tsai, 2016 “Cortical neurons gradually attain a post-mitotic state”. Cell Research, 26, 1033-47. - Poirazi P., Belin D., Gräff J., Hanganu-Opatz I., and G. Lopez-Bendito, 2016 “Balancing family with a successful career in neuroscience”. European Journal of Neuroscience, 44, 1797-1803. - Khalaf O. and J. Gräff, 2016 “Structural, Synaptic, and Epigenetic Dynamics of Enduring Memories”. Neural Plasticity, Article ID 3425908. 2015 - Sanchez-Mut, J.V. and J. Gräff, 2015 “Epigenetic alterations in Alzheimer’s disease”. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 9, Article 347. - Rei D., Mason X., Seo J., Gräff J., Rudenko A., Wang J., Rueda R., Siegert S., Cho S., Canter R.G., Mungenast A.E., Deisseroth K. and L.-H. Tsai, 2015 “Basolateral amygdala bidirectionally modulates stress-induced hippocampal learning and memory deficits through a p25/Cdk5-dependent pathway”. PNAS, 112, 7291-7296. 2014 - Tsai L.-H., and J. Gräff, 2014 “On the resilience of remote traumatic memories against exposure-therapy-mediated attenuation”. EMBO Reports, 15, 853-861. - Gräff 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. • Selected among Cell’s top 10 papers in 2014 • Commentary in: Trends in Neurosciences (2014): 37, 245-6 Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (2014), 8, 255 Nature Reviews Neuroscience (2014), 15, 134-135 2013 - Gräff J., Kahn M., Samiei A., Gao J., Ota K.T., Rei D., and L.-H. Tsai, 2013 “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., and L.-H.Tsai, 2013 “Histone acetylation: Molecular mnemonics on the chromatin”. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 14, 97-111. - Gräff J., and L.-H.Tsai, 2013 “The potential of HDAC inhibitors as cognitive enhancers”. Annual Reviews of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 53, 311-330. 2012 - 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. - Calderon de Anda F., Rosario A.L., Tran T., Durak O., Gräff J., Rei D., Meletis K., Soda, T., Madabushi R., Ginty D.D., Kolodkin A.L., and L.-H. Tsai, 2012 “An Autism Spectrum Disorder Susceptibility Gene, TAO2, is Important for Basal Dendrite Formation in the Neocortex”. Nature Neuroscience, 15, 1022-1031. - 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. • Selected among the top ten research breakthroughs of the year by NIHS director Tom Insel • Rated “exceptional” by F1000 • Commentary in: ScienceNews (2013), 2, 24-28 Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy (2012), 4, 14 Nature Reviews Neuroscience (2012), 13, 223 2011 - Giusti-Rodriguez P., Gao J., Gräff J., Rei D., Soda T., and L.-H. Tsai, 2011 “Synaptic deficits are rescued in the p25/Cdk5 model of neurodegeneration by the reduction of ?-secretase (BACE1)”. Journal of Neuroscience, 31, 15751-15756. - Gräff J., Kim D., Dobbin M.M., and L.-H. Tsai, 2011 “Epigenetic Regulation of Gene Expression in Physiological and Pathological Brain Processes”. Physiological Reviews, 91, 603-649. - Gräff J., and L.-H. Tsai, 2011 “Cognitive enhancement: A molecular memory booster.” Nature, 469, 474-475. - Koshibu K.*, Gräff J.*, and I.M. Mansuy, 2011 “Nuclear protein phosphatase-1: an epigenetic regulator of fear memory and amygdala long-term potentiation”. Neuroscience, 173, 30-36. 2010 - Gräff J. *, Koshibu K. *, Jouvenceau A., Dutar P., and I.M. Mansuy, 2010 “Protein Phosphatase-1 Dependent Transcriptional Programs for Long-Term Memory”. Learning and Memory, 17, 355-363. • Selected for the cover of the August 2010 issue. - Gao J.*, Wang W.-Y.*, Mao Y.-W., Gräff J., Guan J.-S., Pan L., Mak G., Kim D., Su S.C., and L.-H. Tsai, 2010 “A novel pathway regulates memory and plasticity via SIRT1 and miR-134”. Nature, 466, 1105-1109. - Franklin T.*, Russig H.*, Weiss I.C., Vizi S., Gräff J., Linder N., Michalon A., and I.M. Mansuy 2010, “Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of behavioral alterations induced by early stress”. Biological Psychiatry, 68, 406-415. 2009 - Koshibu K.*, Gräff J.*, Beullens M., Heitz F., Berchtold D., Russig H., Farinelli M., Bollen M., and I.M. Mansuy, 2009 “Protein Phosphatase-1 Regulates the Histone Code for Long-term Memory”. Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 13079-13089. • Rated “good” by F1000 - Gräff J., and I.M. Mansuy, 2009 “Epigenetic Dysregulation in Cognitive Disorders”. European Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 1-8. 2008 - Gräff J., and I. M. Mansuy, 2008 “Epigenetic Codes in Cognition and Behaviour”. Behavioural Brain Research 192, 70-87. 2007 - Gräff J.*, Jemielity S.*, Parker J.D., Parker K.M., and L. Keller, 2007 “Differential Gene Expression between Adult Queens and Workers in the Ant Lasius niger”. Molecular Ecology 16, 675-683. - Wang J.*, Jemielity S.*, Uva P., Wurm Y., Gräff J., and L. Keller, 2007 “A Microarray and Annotated cDNA Library for Large-Scale Gene-Expression Studies in the Ant Solenopsis invicta”. Genome Biology 8(1):R9. 2006 - Jemielity S., Gräff J., and L. Keller, 2006 “How to Fool a Virgin - Artificial Dealation Triggers Oviposition in Virgin Lasius niger Queens”. Insectes Sociaux, 53, 323-325. * equal contribution 4) Book chapters - Gräff J., Franklin T.B., and I.M. Mansuy “Epigenetics of Brain Disorders”, in Handbook of Epigenetics: The New Molecular and Medical Genetics, 553-568, 2011 (Elsevier). 5) Funding, Grants and Prices 2018-2021 JPND Collaborative Project Grant (31ND30_179601, CHF 178’959; role: coordinator) 2017-2018 NARSAD Independent Investigator Grant (Project Funding, $ 100’000) 2016-2020 ERC Starting Grant (StG 678832, € 1’494’325) 2016-2018 MQ fellow (MQ15FIP100012, £ 220’000) 2016-2017 Alzheimer’s Association New Investigator Research Grant (NIRG-15-363964, $ 100’000) 2015-2018 SYNAPSIS Foundation for Alzheimer’s Disease (Project Funding, CHF 283’422) 2015-2018 Beatrice Ederer-Weber Foundation (Project Funding, CHF 193’422) 2014-2018 National Center for Competence in Research (NCCR) “SYNAPSY” (PH02P35, Subproject Funding, CHF 360’000) 2014-2017 Swiss National Science Foundation (31003A_155898, CHF 316’000) 2014-2016 Floshield Foundation (Project Funding, CHF 23’000) 2014-2015 Dragon Blue Foundation (Project Funding, CHF 8’000) 2014 Young Investigator Award, Swiss Society for Biological Psychiatry 2013 MIT School of Science Infinite K Award, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2010-2013 Bard Richmond Research Fellowship, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2011 Keystone Scholarship, Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology 2009-2010 Fellowship for Prospective Researchers, Swiss National Science Foundation 2009 Travel Grant, Swiss Society of Neuroscience 6) Teaching - Molecular Biology; 1st year B.Sc.; language: French - Molecular Neuroscience and Neurodegeneration; 4th year M.Sc.; language: English - Scientific Project Design in Translational Neuroscience; 4th year M.Sc.; language: english 7) Miscellaneous Patents - Inventor for European Patent No. 16180434.9 “Methods of Diagnosis Alzheimer’s Disease”. Patent approved. - Co-Inventor for U.S. patent 12/917,402 “The Use of CI-994 and Dinaline for the Treatment of Memory/Cognition and Anxiety Disorders”. Patent approved. - Co-Inventor for U.S. patent 14/425,529 “The Use of Gene Expression Profiling as a Biomarker for Assessing the Efficacy of HDAC Inhibitor Treatment in Neurodegenerative Conditions”. Patent pending. Editorial Activities - Associate Editor for Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience (2014-present) Reviewing Activities - Scientific Journals: Science, Nature Medicine, Nature Neuroscience, Trends in Neurosciences, Molecular Psychiatry, Nature Communications, The Lancet Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, PNAS, EMBO Journal, EMBO Molecular Medicine, eLife, Neuropsychopharmacology, Cerebral Cortex, Aging Research Reviews, Aging Cell, Journal of Neuroscience, Scientific Reports, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Molecular Brain, Bioscience Reports, Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, Epigenomics, Learning & Memory, Behavioral Brain Research, Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Experimental Neurology, Neuroscience, Brain Research. - Funding Agencies: ERC; The Wellcome Trust (UK); Medical Research Council (UK); Alzheimer’s Research UK; Alzheimer’s Society (UK); Economic and Social Research Council (UK); The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research; The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development; Croatian Science Foundation; National Contest for Life Foundation (Germany); Swiss National Science Foundation; Gertrude von Meissner Stiftung (Switzerland). Scientific Advisory Boards 2018-current: Centre de Biologie Integrative, University of Toulouse, France 2014-current: International Food and Nutrition Center, EPFL, Switzerland Organization of scientific conferences 2017: Latsis Symposium on “The Degeneration of Neuronal Circuits”, EPFL, Switzerland 2016: BMI Symposium on “Brain Bioenergetics”, EPFL, Switzerland 2015: BMI-Agalma-NCCR SYNAPSY Symposium on “Mechanisms of Memory Consolidation, Reconsolidation and Extinction – and their Relevance to Psychiatry”, EPFL, Switzerland 2013: Nanosymposium on “Learning and Memory – Epigenetics”, 43rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA, USA Scientific publications for the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” (in German, circulation > 112’'000), Zürich, Switzerland: 2007-present 2017 - Die DNA speichert auch Erinnerungen 2014 - “Die Unschärfe unseres Gedächtnisses” 2012 - “Spuren der Vorfahren auf unserem Erbgut” 2011 - “Immer noch kein Wirkstoff gegen die Alzheimerkrankheit” 2010 - “Die räumliche Wahrnehmung” - “Gedächtnisstützen auf dem Erbgut” 2009 - “Boxerdemenz bei Footballspielern?” - “Wie Kinder heute lernen” - “Ein Leben nach dem Nobelpreis” - “Die Angst gezielt bekämpfen” - “Körper und Werkzeug verschmelzen” - “Frühkindliche Erfahrungen hinterlassen Spuren auf der DNA” - “Schlafend singen lernen” 2008 - “Grenzwächter im Hirn” - “Janusköpfige Onkogene” - “Das Darwinsche Paradox der Homosexualität” - “Schlaf als Preis für das Gedächtnis” - “Wissen, was andere sehen” - “Einflussreiche Nervenzellen” 2007 - “Moralisch urteilen schon im Säuglingsalter” - “Mit Licht Nervenzellen steuern”

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

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

Administrative data


Teaching & PhD


  • Life Sciences Engineering,

PhD Programs

  • Doctoral Program in Neuroscience

PhD Students


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 unde... goto

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... goto

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. goto