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Marcus Davidsson

Marcus Davidsson

Postdoctoral fellow

Marcus Davidsson

A systematic capsid evolution approach performed in vivo for the design of AAV vectors with tailored properties and tropism


  • Marcus Davidsson
  • Gang Wang
  • Patrick Aldrin-Kirk
  • Tiago Cardoso
  • Sara Nolbrant
  • Morgan Hartnor
  • Janitha Mudannayake
  • Malin Parmar
  • Tomas Björklund

Summary, in English

Adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsid modification enables the generation of recombinant vectors with tailored properties and tropism. Most approaches to date depend on random screening, enrichment, and serendipity. The approach explored here, called BRAVE (barcoded rational AAV vector evolution), enables efficient selection of engineered capsid structures on a large scale using only a single screening round in vivo. The approach stands in contrast to previous methods that require multiple generations of enrichment. With the BRAVE approach, each virus particle displays a peptide, derived from a protein, of known function on the AAV capsid surface, and a unique molecular barcode in the packaged genome. The sequencing of RNA-expressed barcodes from a single-generation in vivo screen allows the mapping of putative binding sequences from hundreds of proteins simultaneously. Using the BRAVE approach and hidden Markov model-based clustering, we present 25 synthetic capsid variants with refined properties, such as retrograde axonal transport in specific subtypes of neurons, as shown for both rodent and human dopaminergic neurons.


  • Molecular Neuromodulation
  • StemTherapy: National Initiative on Stem Cells for Regenerative Therapy
  • Developmental and Regenerative Neurobiology
  • MultiPark: Multidisciplinary research focused on Parkinson´s disease

Publishing year







Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America





Document type

Journal article


National Acad Sciences


  • Neurosciences



Research group

  • Molecular Neuromodulation
  • Developmental and Regenerative Neurobiology


  • ISSN: 1091-6490