Frontiers of Science: DNA origami deciphers receptor signalling


February 1, 2018    
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Map Unavailable

Associate Prof. Björn Högberg, Dept. of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Host: Cecilia Sahlgren (

It is widely accepted that the biophysical context of ligands and receptors has significant impact of downstream signaling, however the concept is poorly understood due to difficulties in controlling and analyzing the microenvironment on the nanoscale. Björn will discuss how DNA-nanotechnology can be of great help in learning the tactile alphabet of cells by stimulation using protein decorated DNA-origami ‘nano-calipers’. Björn’s team focus on ephrin-Eph signaling and, more recently Notch signaling. He will also briefly present their recent work on ‘3D-printing’ DNA origami wireframe structures, a method that provides a way to make origami more accessible to experiments in physiological salt conditions.

Björn Högberg is an associate professor and head of the division of biomaterials at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics at Karolinska Institutet. He is a Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation Academy Fellow and an ERC Consolidator grantee. Högberg’s research is focused on developing new methods and molecular tools for cell biology research using DNA devices, mainly DNA nanotechnology and DNA origami. His focus has been both in development of the basic technology and in applications to probe and manipulate cell signaling by cell surface receptor clustering. His research also involve using these novel devices for drug delivery in cancer. Högberg earned his MSc in Physics at Uppsala University and did his PhD in Physics both at Chalmers University, where he started, and at Mid Sweden University where he graduated in 2007. After that he joined the lab of William Shih as a post-doc at Harvard Medical School and Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, USA. He joined Karolinska Institutet in 2010 as an Assistant Professor at the dept. of Neuroscience and now holds a faculty positon at the dept. of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.


Selected publications

DNA rendering of polyhedral meshes at the nanoscale, Benson E, Mohammed A, Gardell J, Masich S, Czeizler E, Orponen P and Högberg B, Nature, 523, p. 441–444 (2015)

Spatial control of membrane receptor function using ligand nanocalipers, Shaw A, Lundin A, Petrova E, Fördős F, Benson E, Al-Amin A, Herland A, Blokzijl A, Högberg B and Teixeira A Nature Methods, 11, p. 841-846 (2014)

Enzymatic production of ‘monoclonal stoichiometric’ single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides, Ducani C., Kaul C., Moche M., Shih W. M. and Högberg B. Nature Methods, 10, p. 647-652 (2013)

Self-assembly of DNA into nanoscale three-dimensional shapes, S.M. Douglas, H. Dietz, T. Liedl, B. Högberg, F. Graf and W. M. Shih Nature 459, p. 414 (2009)