Johan Rockberg

Associate Professor and Associate Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biotechnology and Directed Evolution at the Royal Institute of Technology

Membership period 2019–2024

The goal of my research is to develop new biological drugs and ways to produce them at large scale so that they can become available to patients with diseases without adequate treatment today.

In my area of ​​antibody technology and targeted evolution, I develop and search in libraries of tens of billions of different protein molecules for those that enable a specific interaction with a disease cell to achieve the desired effect. For example, it may be binding to a receptor on a cancer cell to block its function, neutralizing immune defense molecules that have run berserk in the blood of a patient having an autoimmune disease or a means of delivering drugs to the brain through the blood using refined redirected viruses in an Alzheimer's patient.

These types of drugs usually need to be produced from living cells as they are too complex to build otherwise. The challenge is to make mammalian cells capable of producing such proteins or viruses with high efficiency and quality, even though the cells themselves would not normally do so. By studying the cell's DNA, RNA, proteins and metabolites, I try to provide them with the right genetic conditions and environment in the reactor to succeed in producing the drug in the most efficient and scalable way possible.

Johan Rockberg Photo: Rasmus Bengtsson

Click for press photo. Photo: Rasmus Bengtsson

IN BRIEF

Born: 1979
Interests: My energy is replenished when I am in nature - especially the ocean is incredibly important to me. Summers are spent sailing and enjoying archipelago life. In the winter, I try to do as much long distance ice skating and snowboarding as possible with family and friends.
Other: I have run various companies and tested business ideas since the age of 17. For a couple of years I am keyboard player in a punk rock band.

We are facing a revolution brought by the urgency to meet the goals of sustainable development. To lead the way, there is a need for new interdisciplinary research, development, as well as new forms of education and training. I hope to to find inspiration from and in turn to inspire fellow members of the academy and be involved in using the platform to reach out with our ideas for how we reach a sustainable world.

Young Academy of Sweden
c/o The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Box 50005
SE-104 05 Stockholm
Sweden

+ 46 (0)8 673 9500
info@sverigesungaakademi.se

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