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, which is 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.
In 2013, Johannes Gräff was recruited to EPFL as assistant professor on tenure track at the Brain Mind Institute of the School of Life Sciences. In 2020, he was promoted to associate professor with tenure. Johannes Gräff is also a founding member of the FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence, a former MQ fellow, NARSAD Independent Investigator, a current VALLEE scholar and holder of an ERC StG and ERC CoG.
2022 - current Director, Doctoral School of Neuroscience (EDNE)
2019 - current Co-Director, Summer Research Program (SRP)
2020 - current Associate professor
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 publicationsPlease refer to the lab's homepage: graefflab.epfl.ch
Teaching & PhD
Life Sciences Engineering