Peter B. Berget PhD

Peter B. Berget PhD

Chair, Department of Biological Sciences

Professor of Biology


BS (University of Minnesota)

PhD (University of Minnesota)

Post Doctoral Fellow (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Research Interests

My laboratory is developing novel biosensors that will detect the activity of specific proteases and other signaling enzymes in cells.  We are isolating and engineering Fluorogen Activating Proteins (FAPs) that are made from single chain antibody molecules (scFvs).  These FAPs bind and release fluorogenic dyes and are platforms for a variety of biosensors.

Our research uses modern molecular biology techniques to modify FAP genes, cell culture and microbiological techniques to generate quantities of these biosensors, and biochemical techniques to purify and characterize these biosensors.


Dr. Berget holds a PhD from the University of Minnesota. His current research focus is on the discovery, engineering and development of single-chain variable fragment antibodies (scFvs) that can be used as intracellular and extracellular indicators of gene, pathway and metabolic activity.

Selected Scholarly Activity

Undergraduate authors are marked with an asterisk.

Coelho, L. P., Kangas, J. D., Naik, A. W., Osuna-Highley, E., Glory-Afshar, E., Fuhrman, M., Simha, R., Berget, P. B., Jarvik, J. W., and Murphy, R. F. (2013) Determining the subcellular location of new proteins from microscope images using local features, Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) 29, 2343-2349.  doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btt392.  PMCID: PMC3753569

Yates BP, *Peck MA and Berget PB. Directed Evolution of a Fluorogen-Activating Single Chain Antibody for Function and Enhanced Brightness in the Cytoplasm. Mol Biotechnol. December 2012. DOI 10.1007/s12033-012-9631-7

Senutovitch N, Stanfield RL, Bhattacharyya S, Rule GS, Wilson IA, Armitage BA, Waggoner AS, Berget PB. A Variable Light Domain Fluorogen Activating Protein Homodimerizes To Activate Dimethylindole Red. Biochemistry. 2012 Mar 27;51(12):2471-85. doi: 10.1021/bi201422g.

Zanotti KJ, Silva GL, Creeger Y, Robertson KL, Waggoner AS, Berget PB and Armitage BA. Blue fluorescent dye-protein complexes based on fluorogenic cyanine dyes and single chain antibody fragments. Org. Biomol. Chem. 9: 1012-1020, 2011.

Fitzpatrick JAJ, Yan Q, Sieber JJ, Dyba M, Schwarz U, Szent-Gyorgyi C, Woolford CA, Berget PB, Waggoner AS and Bruchez MP.  STED nanoscopy in living cells using Fluorogen Activating Proteins. Bioconjugate Chem. 20 (10): 1843–1847, 2009.

Shank NI, Zanotti KJ, Lanni F, Berget PB, and Armitage BA. Enhanced Photostability of Genetically Encodable Fluoromodules Based on Fluorogenic Cyanine Dyes and a Promiscuous Protein Partner. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 131 (36): 12960–12969, 2009.

Falco CF, Dykstra KM, Yates BP, and Berget PB. scFv-based Fluorogen Activating Proteins and Variable Domain Inhibitors as Fluorescent Biosensor Platforms. Biotechnol. J. 4 (9): 1328-1336, 2009.

Özhalici-Ünal H, *Pow CL, *Marks SA, *Jesper LD, Silva GL, Shank NI, Jones EW, Burnette JM 3rd, Berget PB and Armitage BA. A Rainbow of Fluoromodules: A Promiscuous scFv Protein Binds to and Activates a Diverse Set of Fluorogenic Cyanine Dyes. J Am Chem Soc. 130(38): 12620-12621, 2008.

Armitage BA and Berget PB. An Enlightening Structure-Function Relationship. Science, 319: 1195-1196, 2008.

Szent-Gyorgyi C, Schmidt BA, Creeger Y, Fisher GW, Zakel KL, Adler S, Fitzpatrick JA, Woolford CA, Yan Q, Vasilev KV, Berget PB, Bruchez MP, Jarvik JW and Waggoner A. Fluorogen-activating single-chain antibodies for imaging cell surface proteins. Nature biotechnology, 26: 235-240, 2008.

Jones EW, Berget PB, Burnette, III JM, *Anderson C, *Asafu-Adjei D, *Avetisian S, *Barrie F, *Chen R, *Chu B, *Conroy SA, *Conroy ST, *Dill A, *Eimer W, *Garrity D, *Greenwood A, *Hamilton T, *Hucko S, *Jackson C, *Livesey K, *Monaco T, *Onorato C, *Otsuka M, *Pai S, *Schaeffer G, *Shung S, *Spath S, *Stahlman J, *Sweeney B, *Wiltrout E, *Yurovsky D and *Zonneveld A. The Spectrum of Trp- Mutants Isolated as 5-Fluoroanthranilate Resistant Clones in Saccharomyces bayanus, Saccharomyces mikatae and Saccharomyces paradoxus. Yeast, 25(1): 41-46, 2007.

Contact Information

Office location: McNeil Science & Technology Center, Room 342
Mailing address: University of Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495
Office Phone: 215.596.7417
Office Fax: 215.596.8710

p [dot] berget [at] usciences [dot] edu