Experimental work in animals has shown that memory formation depends on a cascade of molecular events. Here we show that variability of human memory performance is related to variability in genes encoding proteins of this signaling cascade, including the NMDA and metabotrobic glutamate receptors, adenylyl cyclase, CAMKII, PKA, and PKC. The individual profile of genetic variability in these signaling molecules correlated significantly with episodic memory performance (P < 0.00001). Moreover, functional MRI during memory formation revealed that this genetic profile correlated with activations in memory-related brain regions, including the hippocampus and parahippocampal gyrus. The present study indicates that genetic variability in the human homologues of memory-related signaling molecules contributes to interindividual differences in human memory performance and memory-related brain activations.