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Isabelle Mansuy


Isabelle Mansuy is Professor in Neuroepigenetics at the Brain Research Institute of the Medical Faculty of the University Zurich (UZH), and at the Institute for Neuroscience of the Department of Health Science and Technology at ETH Zurich. 


Isabelle Mansuy is member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, the European Academy of Sciences (EURASC) and EMBO, and was elected Knight of the Legion of Honour in France in 2016 and Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Mérite in 2011. She authored many reviews and books in the field of neuroepigenetics and molecular cognition.

Isabelle completed a PhD in Developmental Neurobiology at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland and the Université Louis Pasteur Strasbourg, France, then a postdoc in the lab of Eric Kandel at the Center for Learning and Memory at Columbia University in New York. She was appointed Assistant Professor in Neurobiology at the ETHZ in Dec 1998, then Associate Professor in Molecular Cognition at UZH and ETHZ in 2005 and Full Professor in Neuroepigenetics in 2013.

I. Mansuy’s research examines the epigenetics of complex brain functions in mammals, particularly the mechanisms of inheritance of acquired traits across generations. She started her research career working on the molecular mechanisms of memory using conditional transgenic mouse models she established. She identified the Ser/Thr protein phosphatases calcineurin and PP1 as suppressors of memory and their role in the epigenetic control of memory formation and synaptic plasticity in the adult brain. She also demonstrated their implication in aging-related cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and neurodegeneration.


Her current research studies the mechanisms by which behavioral and physiological traits can be modified by life experiences in childhood and are passed to descendants via the germline. The goal is to determine the molecular and cellular processes underlying the influence of adverse life events on mental and physical health and their link with psychiatric and metabolic disorders in exposed parents and their descendants. It uses animal models and cellular systems to study the involvement of non-coding RNAs, epigenetic factors and chromatin remodeling in the brain and germline, in the expression and transmission of environmentally-induced phenotypes. It also investigates the potential reversibility of epigenetic alterations and symptoms induced by traumatic stress and the relevance of the findings in mice for humans exposed to childhood trauma.


Research at the Mansuy lab is conceptually and technically innovative and the lab is pioneer in the field of epigenetic inheritance, a discipline at the forefront of a paradigm shift in genetics. 

Check I. Mansuy's wiki-page for more information.


2017             Elected member of the European Academy of Sciences (EURASC)

2016             Knight in the Order of the Legion of Honour, France

2011             Elected member of the Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation

2011             Knight in the Order of Merit, France 

2010             Elected member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences

2008             Robert Bing Prize

2006             EMBO member

2004             FEBS Anniversary Award 

2004             Boehringer Ingelheim FENS Research Award

2001             EMBO Young Investigator Program Award

1997             Fyssen Foundation Research Award

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