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.


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.
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.
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., de Wolf, F. A., Stuart, M. A. C., & de 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., de Vries, R., & LaBean, T. H. (2017), ACS Nano, 11(1), 831-842.
Competitive annealing of multiple DNA origami: Formation of chimeric origami
Majikes, J. M., Nash, J. A., & LaBean, T. H. (2016), New Journal of Physics, 18.
Design of potent and controllable anticoagulants using dna aptamers and nanostructures
Rangnekar, A., Nash, J. A., Goodfred, B., Yingling, Y. G., & LaBean, T. H. (2016), Molecules, 21(2).
Coverage percentage and raman measurement of cross-tile and scaffold cross-tile based DNA nanostructures
Gnapareddy, B., Ahn, S. J., Dugasani, S. R., Kim, J. A., Amin, R., Mitta, S. B., Vellampatti, S., Kim, B., Kulkarni, A., Kim, T., Yun, K., LaBean, T. H., & Park, S. H. (2015), Colloids and Surfaces. B, Biointerfaces, 135, 677-681.
An easy-to-prepare mini-scaffold for DNA origami
Brown, S., Majikes, J., Martinez, A., Giron, T. M., Fennell, H., Samano, E. C., & LaBean, T. H. (2015), Nanoscale, 7(40), 16621-16624.
Comparative Incorporation of PNA into DNA Nanostructures
Pedersen, R. O., Kong, J., Achim, C., & LaBean, T. H. (2015), Molecules, 20(9), 17645-17658.
Electronically addressable nanomechanical switching of i-motif DNA origami assembled on basal plane HOPG
Campos, R., Zhang, S., Majikes, J. M., Ferraz, L. C. C., LaBean, T. H., Dong, M. D., & Ferapontova, E. E. (2015), Chemical Communications, 51(74), 14111-14114.

View all publications via NC State Libraries


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)