Benjamin F. Grewe

Professor of Systems, Circuits and Neuroinformatics
Institute of Neuroinformatics of the ETH and UZH


Benjamin Grewe has been an assistant professor at the Institute for Neuroinformatics since October 2016. His research focuses at at the intersection of biological and artificial intelligence. He grew up in Schleswig-Holstein and studied physics in Kiel and Heidelberg. During his doctorate at ETH Zurich, he focused on brain research and developed new methods for analyzing and measuring neuronal signals in the brain. He then went to Stanford University in 2011, where he studied how neural networks learn and store memories in the brain. The goal of his research group at ETH is to unravel the underpinnings of natural intelligence in the mammalian brain and then to project this knowledge onto artificial neural systems to improve these and to bring them closer to human intelligence.


Assistant Professor of Neural Learning and Intelligent Systems Group
Institute for Neuroinfromatics ETH Zurich and University of Zurich, Switzerland | 10/2016-present   

  • Built a highly diverse research group of 15-19 people.
  • Published >40 papers in systems and computational neuroscience and bio-inspired machine learning.
  • Total Funding acquired: 1 mCHF
  • Started a new, interdisciplinary lecture (MSc level). Title: “Learning in Biological and Artificial Neuronal Networks.”

Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Lab of Prof. Mark Schnitzer
Stanford University, USA | 4/2011-10/2016

Ph.D. Student in the Lab of Prof. Fritjof Helmchen and Prof. Richard Hahnloser
Institute of Neuroinformatics ETH Zurich, Switzerland | 4/2007-7/2010


 Post-Doctoral Training in Systems Neuroscienceat Stanford University, USA | 4/2011-10/2016

  • Investigated neuronal network learning algorithms of the mouse limbic system with miniaturized microscopes and deep-brain micro-endoscope imaging techniques (Advisor Prof. Mark Schnitzer, Grewe et al 2017, Nature)

  • Initiation of multiple international collaborations that are using my new imaging approach to investigate networks in deep-brain structures

Ph.D. in Neuroinformatics
ETH Zurich, Switzerland | 4/2007-10/2010

Thesis title: ”High-speed acousto-optic imaging of NN activity in the intact mouse brain.” (Advisors: Profs. Fritjof Helmchen, Markus Rudin and Richard Hahnloser)

  • Pioneered high-speed Two-Photon calcium imaging approaches to investigate information processing of neuronal networks in live mice with millisecond precision (Grewe et al 2010, Nat. Meth.)

Diploma in Physics
University of Heidelberg, Germany | 7/2003-3/2007

Thesis title: “Dendritic signaling in Layer 5A pyramidal neurons of the rat somatosensory cortex.” (Advisor: Bert Sakmann).

  • Investigated intracellular feedback signals that allow neurons to change their integration of synaptic input. Methods: In vitro electrophysiology and Two-Photon imaging (Grewe et al. 2010, Front. Cell Neursc.)

Intermediate Diploma in Physics
University of Kiel, Germany | 9/2001-6/2003

Competitive Subject: Computer Science



Spotlight Paper Awards, 2xNeurIPS, 2xICLR (best 1-3%)

NeurIPS and ICLR Machine Learning Conferences / 2019-2022


Leshner AI Fellow Award

AAAS / 2020-2021


Pfizer Reserach Award