Johannes Gräff

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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, 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.  

AI 2137.1 (Bâtiment AI)
Station 19
1015 Lausanne

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SV 3513 (Bâtiment SV)
Station 19
1015 Lausanne

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CE 1 631 (Centre Est)
Station 1
1015 Lausanne

Administrative data


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Teaching & PhD


Life Sciences Engineering


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.

Training Rotation (EDNE)

Training Rotation on the EPFL Campus during the 1st year of a PhD. 1,2 or 3 months are possible.

Training Rotation (EDNE)

(Coursebook not yet approved by the section)

Training Rotation (EDNE)

(Coursebook not yet approved by the section)

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.