Thom LaBean


LaBean earned his BS in biochemistry from the Honors College at Michigan State University, and his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. He studied protein design as a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University. He then ran his own group as research professor with appointments in the departments of Computer Science, Chemistry, and Biomedical Engineering at Duke. LaBean joined MSE@NCSU in 2011.  Throughout his career, LaBean has studied the structure, evolution, and engineering of biopolymers (biomacromolecules and materials assembled from them). Current research projects involve the design, construction, and testing of self-assembling DNA nanostructures for applications in nanomedicine, molecular materials, and biomimetic fabrication of nanoelectronics.


Ph.D. 1993


University of Pennsylvania

B.S. 1985


Michigan State University

Research Description

Dr. LaBean's research interests include biomolecular engineering, molecular materials, bionano science, molecular recognition and self-assembly.


Modeling and characterization of stochastic resistive switching in single Ag2S nanowires
Frick, N., Hosseini, M., Guilbaud, D., Gao, M., & LaBean, T. H. (2022), SCIENTIFIC REPORTS.
Mechanical and Electrical Properties of DNA Hydrogel-Based Composites Containing Self-Assembled Three-Dimensional Nanocircuits
Gao, M., Krissanaprasit, A., Miles, A., Hsiao, L. C., & LaBean, T. H. (2021), APPLIED SCIENCES-BASEL, 11(5).
Multivalent Aptamer-Functionalized Single-Strand RNA Origami as Effective, Target-Specific Anticoagulants with Corresponding Reversal Agents
Krissanaprasit, A., Key, C. M., Froehlich, K., Pontula, S., Mihalko, E., Dupont, D. M., … LaBean, T. H. (2021, April 21), ADVANCED HEALTHCARE MATERIALS.
Self-Assembling Nucleic Acid Nanostructures Functionalized with Aptamers
Krissanaprasit, A., Key, C. M., Pontula, S., & LaBean, T. H. (2021). [Review of , ]. CHEMICAL REVIEWS.
Genetically Encoded, Functional Single-Strand RNA Origami: Anticoagulant
Krissanaprasit, A., Key, C., Fergione, M., Froehlich, K., Pontula, S., Hart, M., … LaBean, T. H. (2019), ADVANCED MATERIALS, 31(21).
2precise coating of a wide range of DNA templates by a protein polymer with a DNA binding domain
Hernandez-Garcia, A., Estrich, N. A., Werten, M. W. T., Van Der Maarel, J. R. C., LaBean, T. H., Wolf, F. A., … Vries, R. (2017), ACS Nano, 11(1), 144–152.
Engineered diblock polypeptides improve DNA and gold solubility during molecular assembly
Estrich, N. A., Hernandez-Garcia, A., Vries, R., & LaBean, T. H. (2017), ACS Nano, 11(1), 831–842.
Search for effective chemical quenching to arrest molecular assembly and directly monitor dna nanostructure formation
Majikes, J. M., Nash, J. A., & LaBean, T. H. (2017), Nanoscale, 9(4), 1637–1644.
pH-driven actuation of DNA origami via parallel I-motif sequences in solution and on surfaces
Majikes, J. M., Ferraz, L. C. C., & LaBean, T. H. (2017), Bioconjugate Chemistry, 28(7), 1821–1825.
Activatable tiles for compact robust programmable molecular assembly and other applications
Majumder, U., Garg, S., LaBean, T. H., & Reif, J. H. (2016), Natural Computing, 15(4), 611–634.

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NCBC TRG: Preclinical Animal Studies for RNA Origami-Based Anticoagulant
NC Biotechnology Center(2/15/21 - 1/15/23)
Production Scale-up of RNA Origami-Based Anticoagulants Prior to Clinical Testing
NC Biotechnology Center(11/30/-1 - 10/15/20)
A multiscale material approach to understanding the effects of viscoelasticity on cell adhesion, migration, and TGF-beta activation/signaling
National Science Foundation (NSF)(9/01/18 - 8/31/22)
EAGER: SHF: Three-Dimensional Electronics Integration Facilitated by Molecular Assembly
National Science Foundation (NSF)(9/15/17 - 8/31/19)
Collaborative Research: BMAT: Adapting Cas9 Protein from CRISPR as a Structural Unit for Molecular Assembly
National Science Foundation (NSF)(7/01/17 - 6/30/21)
Collaborative Research: Photonic and Electronic Devices Based on Self-Assembling DNA Templates
National Science Foundation (NSF)(7/15/16 - 6/30/20)
BME: DNA Origami for Investigating and Reprogramming Cell Signaling
National Science Foundation (NSF)(5/15/16 - 4/30/20)
IRES: Vertically Integrated Team for Structural DNA NanoTech in Denmark
National Science Foundation (NSF)(5/01/16 - 4/30/20)
Development of 3D Electronic Materials from Self-Assembling DNA Gels
NCSU Faculty Research & Professional Development Fund(7/01/14 - 6/30/15)
International: Renewal for Duke - Aarhus DNA NanoTech Collaboration
National Science Foundation (NSF)(6/01/12 - 8/31/14)