Carlson Lab

Read Bio


My research program is focused on constructing new chemical tools for dynamic, spatiotemporally-controlled interactions with living systems. Building on strengths of our recent inventions and insights from detailed mechanistic investigations, these goals extend bioorthogonal chemistry by embedding reactions within architectures that generate new capabilities for ON/OFF control. From scission accelerated fluorophore exchange (SAFE), the first technique for multiplexed imaging in living systems, to our invention of bioorthogonal translation, which converts chemical to biological information, these projects aim to launch the field of bioorthogonal dynamics: temporospatially-regulated chemistry within living systems.

Recent Publications

  • Carlson JCT, Sertic MM, Chen MY Case 6-2024: A 21-Year-Old Man with Fatigue and Night Sweats. N Engl J Med. 2024;390(8):747-756 - PMID: 38381678 - DOI: 10.1056/NEJMcpc2309498

  • Reynolds DE, Sun Y, Wang X, Vallapureddy P, Lim J, Pan M, Fernandez Del Castillo A, Carlson JCT, Sellmyer MA, Nasrallah M, Binder Z, O'Rourke DM, Ming GL, Song H, Ko J Live Organoid Cyclic Imaging. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2024;11(14):e2309289 - PMID: 38326078 - PMCID: PMC11005682 - DOI: 10.1002/advs.202309289

  • Korolj A, Kohler RH, Scott E, Halabi EA, Lucas K, Carlson JCT, Weissleder R Perfusion Window Chambers Enable Interventional Analyses of Tumor Microenvironments. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2023;10(34):e2304886 - PMID: 37870204 - PMCID: PMC10700240 - DOI: 10.1002/advs.202304886

  • Spitzberg JD, Ferguson S, Yang KS, Peterson HM, Carlson JCT, Weissleder R Multiplexed analysis of EV reveals specific biomarker composition with diagnostic impact. Nat Commun. 2023;14(1):1239 - PMID: 36870999 - PMCID: PMC9985597 - DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-36932-z

  • Kuba W, Sohr B, Keppel P, Svatunek D, Humhal V, Stöger B, Goldeck M, Carlson JCT, Mikula H Oxidative Desymmetrization Enables the Concise Synthesis of a trans-Cyclooctene Linker for Bioorthogonal Bond-Cleavage. Chemistry. 2022;29(3):e202203069 - PMID: 36250260 - PMCID: PMC10098836 - DOI: 10.1002/chem.202203069

  • More publications ...



Walter Kuba, PhD has been awarded a prestigious Erwin Schrödinger Fellowship from the Austrian Science foundation (FWF) for a two year postdoc in the Carlson Lab, with additional funding for a return phase to Vienna thereafter. The Schrödinger program is the FWF’s premier award supporting the international training of exceptional young scientists who will be key future contributors to science in Austria.

Walter’s project in Boston will expand on key pilot experiments he performed during his visit to CSB in 2021-2022, aimed at tackling the perennial clinical challenge of simultaneous clotting and bleeding. Walter has proposed new bioorthogonal circuits that can provide precision control of hematologic therapeutics. Congratulations to Walter!


NIH-NIGMS has awarded a Maximizing Investigator’s Research Award (R35 MIRA) award to Jonathan Carlson, MD, PhD, providing 5 years of flexible funding to develop innovative bioorthogonal temporospatial tools: new methods to understand where and when biological events occur in living systems.


The Lundbeck Foundation has funded a 3 year postdoctoral project for Markus Staudt, PhD, which will include 1 year in the Mikula Lab in Vienna at TUWien and 1 year in the Carlson Lab at CSB, exploring new bioorthogonal chemistry to enable radiotracer detection across the blood brain barrier. After his stay at TUWien, Markus’ award will bring him to Boston and CSB to begin his postdoctoral work in late 2024, and be followed by a return to Denmark to wrap up the project in the laboratories of co-sponsor Matthias Herth. Bravo to Markus on a successful proposal and the fellowship award.


Martin Wilkovitsch, PhD, won the AWS Best of Biotech Award for best early track biotech/pharma company for his start-up Velaex Technologies, which aims to exploit in vivo chemical reactions to precisely deliver and activate drugs only at the site of disease. Bravo to Wilko and his cofounder Sebastian Hecko.


Martin Wilkovitsch, PhD has won the ARIT2022 Poster Session Award, from the Office of Science and Technology Austria and the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation, for his poster describing his work on SAFE (Nature Biotechnology). Martin’s poster on ‘Bioorthogonal Turn-off’ described his synthesis of these tools for exceptionallly rapid, comprehensive, and gentle cleavage of bioorthogonal linkers in live cells, organs, tissues, and even living mice. This first-ever method for visualizing living cells and tissues in many colors (Research Briefing) was developed in collaboration with his advisor Hannes Mikula (TUWien) and the Carlson and Weissleder team at CSB. Congrats to Martin!