Laboratory of Neuroepigenetics

Isabelle Mansuy is Professor in Neuroepigenetics at the Medical Faculty of the University Zürich (UZH), and the Department of Health Science and Technology of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETHZ). Her lab is part of the Center for Neuroscience Zürich. She completed a PhD in Developmental Neurobiology at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland and the Université Louis Pasteur Strasbourg, France, then a postdoctoral training 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. Isabelle Mansuy`s research examines the epigenetic basis of complex brain functions im mammals and focuses in particular, on the mechanisms of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. The purpose is to determine the processes underlying the influence of environmental factors on behavior and metabolism across generations. This work recently demonstrated that early trauma in mice induces behavioural and metabolic alterations and that these alterations are transmitted across several generations through the germline. It identified epigenetic mechanisms involving DNA methylation and non-coding RNAs as mediators of the expression and the transgenerational transmission of symptoms. Her work also examined the epigenetic basis of cognitive functions. It discovered the existence of molecular suppressors of learning and memory in the adult mouse brain, and identified the Ser/Thr protein phosphatases calcineurin and PP1 as such suppressors. It newly revealed their role in chromatin remodeling in the adult brain, and in the epigenetic control of memory formation and synaptic plasticity. It also demonstrated their implication in cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and neurodegeneration. Isabelle Mansuy’s research is conceptually and technically original and innovative, and the lab is pioneer in the field of transgenerational inheritance. This research is pluridisciplinary and combines genetically and environmentally modified animal models, epigenetic methods, molecular, behavioral, electrophysiological, proteomic and imaging techniques.

Isabelle Mansuy is member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Science, the European Academy of Sciences (EURASC), the Research Council of the Swiss National Foundation, of the Research Council of the Fyssen Foundation and of EMBO, and is elected Knight of the Legion of Honour in France after being elected Chevalier dans l'Ordre National du Mérite in 2011. She is acting in multiple review boards including the European Neuroscience Institute Göttingen, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, CNRS, etc. She is chief co-editor of BioMolecular Concepts, and member of the editorial board of Hippocampus, Neurobiology of Diseases, Frontiers in Behavioral Neurosciences, Biology of Mood and Anxiety Disorders, and Frontiers in Epigenomics. She co-authored several reviews and books in the field of molecular cognition and neuroepigenetics.