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.


2precise coating of a wide range of DNA templates by a protein polymer with a DNA binding domain
Hernandez-Garcia, A. and Estrich, N. A. and Werten, M. W. T. and Van Der Maarel, J. R. C. and LaBean, T. H. and Wolf, F. A. and Stuart, M. A. C. and Vries, R. (2017), ACS Nano, 11(1), 144-152.
Engineered diblock polypeptides improve DNA and gold solubility during molecular assembly
Estrich, N. A. and Hernandez-Garcia, A. and Vries, R. and 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. and Nash, J. A. and 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. and Ferraz, L. C. C. and LaBean, T. H. (2017), Bioconjugate Chemistry, 28(7), 1821-1825.
Competitive annealing of multiple DNA origami: Formation of chimeric origami
Majikes, J. M. and Nash, J. A. and LaBean, T. H. (2016), New Journal of Physics, 18(), .
Design of potent and controllable anticoagulants using dna aptamers and nanostructures
Rangnekar, A. and Nash, J. A. and Goodfred, B. and Yingling, Y. G. and LaBean, T. H. (2016), Molecules, 21(2), .
Comparative Incorporation of PNA into DNA Nanostructures
Pedersen, R. O. and Kong, J. and Achim, C. and LaBean, T. H. (2015), Molecules, 20(9), 17645-17658.
Coverage percentage and raman measurement of cross-tile and scaffold cross-tile based DNA nanostructures
Gnapareddy, B. and Ahn, S. J. and Dugasani, S. R. and Kim, J. A. and Amin, R. and Mitta, S. B. and Vellampatti, S. and Kim, B. and Kulkarni, A. and Kim, T. and Yun, K. and LaBean, T. H. and Park, S. H. (2015), Colloids and Surfaces. B, Biointerfaces, 135(), 677-681.
Directed enzymatic activation of 1-D DNA tiles
Garg, S. and Chandran, H. and Gopalkrishnan, N. and LaBean, T. H. and Reif, J. (2015), ACS Nano, 9(2), 1072-1079.
Electronically addressable nanomechanical switching of i-motif DNA origami assembled on basal plane HOPG
Campos, R. and Zhang, S. and Majikes, J. M. and Ferraz, L. C. C. and LaBean, T. H. and Dong, M. D. and Ferapontova, E. E. (2015), Chemical Communications, 51(74), 14111-14114.
An easy-to-prepare mini-scaffold for DNA origami
Brown, S. and Majikes, J. and Martinez, A. and Giron, T. M. and Fennell, H. and Samano, E. C. and LaBean, T. H. (2015), Nanoscale, 7(40), 16621-16624.
Building DNA DNA nanostructures for molecular computation, templated assembly, and biological applications
Rangnekar, A. and LaBean, T. H. (2014), Accounts of Chemical Research, 47(6), 1778-1788.
Programmable DNA tile self-assembly using a hierarchical sub-tile strategy
Shi, X. L. and Lu, W. and Wang, Z. Y. and Pan, L. Q. and Cui, G. Z. and Xu, J. and LaBean, T. H. (2014), Nanotechnology, 25(7), .
Structural and thermodynamic analysis of modified nucleosides in self-assembled DNA cross-tiles
Hakker, L. and Marchi, A. N. and Harris, K. A. and LaBean, T. H. and Agris, P. F. (2014), Journal of Biomolecular Structure & Dynamics, 32(2), 319-329.
Surface-enhanced raman scattering plasmonic enhancement using DNA origami-based complex metallic nanostructures
Pilo-Pais, M. and Watson, A. and Demers, S. and LaBean, T. H. and Finkelstein, G. (2014), Nano Letters, 14(4), 2099-2104.
Toward larger DNA origami
Marchi, A. N. and Saaem, I. and Vogen, B. N. and Brown, S. and LaBean, T. H. (2014), Nano Letters, 14(10), 5740-5747.
One-pot assembly of a hetero-dimeric DNA origami from chip-derived staples and double-stranded scaffold
Marchi, A. N. and Saaem, I. and Tian, J. D. and LaBean, T. H. (2013), ACS Nano, 7(2), 903-910.
Overview of DNA origami for molecular self-assembly
Saaem, I. and LaBean, T. H. (2013), Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology, 5(2), 150-162.
Sensitization of transforming growth factor-beta signaling by multiple peptides patterned on DNA nanostructures
Pedersen, R. O. and Loboa, E. G. and LaBean, T. H. (2013), Biomacromolecules, 14(12), 4157-4160.
An autonomously self-assembling dendritic DNA nanostructure for target DNA detection
Chandran, H. and Rangnekar, A. and Shetty, G. and Schultes, E. A. and Reif, J. H. and LaBean, T. H. (2013), Biotechnology Journal, 8(2), 221-227.

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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 - 8/31/21)
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 - 6/30/20)
Collaborative Research: Photonic and Electronic Devices Based on Self-Assembling DNA Templates
National Science Foundation (NSF)(7/15/16 - 6/30/19)
BME: DNA Origami for Investigating and Reprogramming Cell Signaling
National Science Foundation (NSF)(5/15/16 - 4/30/19)
IRES: Vertically Integrated Team for Structural DNA NanoTech in Denmark
National Science Foundation (NSF)(5/01/16 - 4/30/19)
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)
Collaborative Research: Photonic and Electronic Devices Based on Self-Assembling DNA Templates
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/15/12 - 7/31/16)