Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Basil I. Swanson

Basil Swanson

Phone (505) 667-5814


  • Biosciences
  • Biosecurity
  • Pre-symptomatic diagnosis of infection,
  • Pathogen studies
  • Strategies for disease surveillance and management
  • Biological threat identification, characterization, detection/diagnosis,
  • Phage display
  • Integrated biosensors
  • Biomaterials
  • Siderophore
  • Chemical Science
  • Inorganic chemistry
  • Actinide chemistry
  • Materials chemistry
  • Biomarkers
  • Materials
  • Materials by design
  • Integrate inorganic and organic nanomaterials into functional nanosystems
  • Soft and biological materials
  • Self-assembled organic thin films and solids
  • Biological assemblies


Biosurveillance – diagnostics development and integration with modeling for disease surveillance and management.

Diagnostics – discovery and detection of biomarkers of infectious disease with an emphasis on mycobacterial infections (e.g., Tuberculosis).

Biosensors – development bio-inspired assays for disease markers and biosensors based on optical waveguides.


Postdoctoral Fellow, Chemistry, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, 1970 - 1971

Ph.D., Inorganic Chemistry, Northwestern University, 1970

B. Sc., Chemistry, Colorado School of Mines, 1966


LANL Positions

Laboratory Fellow and Scientist in Bioscience Division, 2012 - present

Deputy Division Leader Chemistry Division, 2008 - 2010

Laboratory Fellow and Scientist Physical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Group, C-PCS, 2004 - 2008

Acting Group Leader B-4, 2003 - 2004

Acting Deputy Division Leader, Bioscience Division, 2003

Laboratory Fellow and Scientist in Spectroscopy, Imaging and Materials Chemistry Group, B-4, 2001 - 2003

Group Leader Cell and Molecular Biology, Bioscience Division, 1999 - 2001

Laboratory Fellow and Scientist in Materials Chemistry, CST-1, 1995 - 1999

Project Leader for Laboratory Strategic Planning, 1993 - 1995

Named Laboratory Fellow, 1991

Section Leader for Condensed Matter Spectroscopy, INC-4, 1988 - 1993

Group Leader INC-4, 1984 - 1988

Staff Scientist in the Inorganic and Structural Chemistry Group, INC-4, 1980-1984

Assistant Professor Chemistry, University of Texas, Austin, 1973 - 1979

Assistant Professor Chemistry, New York University, 1971 - 1973 


Professional Societies

Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2012

Chair of the Global TB Surveillance workshop, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2010

Co-Chair INC-4 reunion, Los Alamos New Mexico, 2009

Member Selected NIH Review Panels, 2005 - present

Member, Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies, NIH Special Emphasis Panel, 2000 - 2010

Member NAS NRC Committee, Testing and Evaluation for Biological Point Detectors, 2004 - 2005

Member, Planning Team for NIH BECON Workshop on Biosensors, 2002

Member, Planning Team DOE OBES Study on Counterterroism, 2002

Member NAS Study on Rapid Detection for Crisis Response, 2001

Co-Chair Symposiumon Advanced Materials and Integrated Optics for Chemical and Biological Sensing, SPIE Photonics East, Boston

Organizer, SPIE Conference on Ultrasensitive Analysis, 1998

Organizer, SPIE Conference on Integrated Optical Sensors, 1998

Chair Western Spectroscopy Association Meeting, 1994

Chair Symposium on Spectroscopy in Inorganic Chemistry, ACS Meeting, 1986

Organizer, Gordon Research Conference on Vibrational Spectroscopy, 1982-1986



Laboratory Programmatic Impact Award, 2010

Laboratory Distinguished Patent Award, Triggered Optical Biosensor, 2002

Los Alamos Distinguished Performance Award, Optical Biosensor, 1999

Los Alamos Achievement Award, 1998

R&D 100 Award, Microsensors for Volatile Organic Compounds, 1995

Laboratory Fellow, 1991

Award for Excellence for Military Applications: Fluorine/Actinide Chemistry, 1986  



“High Density Lipoprotein: A Novel Carrier for Amphiphilic Pathogen Associated Molecular Patterns in Host Blood”, Sakamuri R, Barry CE, Via L, Swanson BI and Mukundan H., Tuberculosis, available online, March (2013).

“Taste of sugar at the membrane: Thermodynamics andkinetics of the interaction of a disaccharide with lipid bilayers”, Tian, J., Sethi, A., Swanson, B. I., Goldstein, B., and Gnanakarin, S., Biophysical Journal, V 104, pp1-11, (2013).

Using phage and yeast display to select hundreds of monoclonal antibodies: application to a TB biomarker”, F. Ferrara, L. A. Naranjo, S. Kumar, H. Mukundan, B. I. Swanson, and A. M. Bradbury, PLoS ONE 7(11): e49535. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049535, (2012)

 “Understanding the Interaction of Lipoarabinomannan with Membrane Mimetic Architectures”, H. Mukundan, D. Price, M. Goertz, R. Parthasarathi, G. Montana, S. Kumar, M. Schofield, A. Anderson, J. Schmidt, S. Iyer, S. Gnanakaran, and B. I. Swanson, Tuberculosis, doi; 10.1016/j.tube.2011.09.006, 2011.

 “Quantitative Multiplexed Detection of Pathogen Biomarkers on Multichannel Waveguides”, H. Mukundan, H. Xie, W. K. Grace, A. S. Anderson, J. Kubicek-Sutherland, J. Martinez, D. Price, N. Hartman, and B. I. Swanson, Analytical Chemistry, 82, 136-144 (2010).

“Waveguide-based biosensors for pathogen detection”, H. Mukundan, A. S. Anderson, W. K. Grace, K. M. Grace, N. Hartman, J. S. Martinez, and B. I. Swanson, Sensors, 9, issue 26, 8169, (2009).

“Optimizing a Waveguide-based Sandwich Immunoassay for Tumor Biomarkers: Evaluating fluorescent labels and functional surfaces”, H. Mukundan, H. Xie, A. S. Anderson, W. K. Grace, J. E. Shively, and B. I. Swanson, Bioconjugate Chem., 20(2): 222-230 (2009).

“Planar Optical Waveguide-based Biosensor for the Quantitative Detection of Tumor Markers”, H. Mukundan, J. Z. Kubicek, A. Holt, J. E. Shively, J. S. Martinez, K. M. Grace, W. K. Grace, and B. I. Swanson, Sensors and Actuators B, 138, 453-460 (2009).

 “An intrinsically fluorescent recognition ligand scaffold based on chaperonin protein and semiconductor quantum dots”, H. Xie, Y. F. Li, H. K. Kagawa, J. D. Trent, M. Cotlet, and B. I. Swanson, Small, 5. No. 9, 1036-1042 (2009).

“Detection of intact influenza viruses using biotinylated biantennary S-sialosides”, Kale, RR; Mukundan, H; Price, DN; Harris, JF; Lewallen, DM; Swanson, BI; Schmidt, JG; Iyer, SS, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 130, 8169-8171 (2008).

“Functional PEG-modified thin-films for biological detection” A. S. Anderson, A. M. Dattelbaum, G. A. Montaño, D. N. Price, J. G. Schmidt, J. S. Martinez, W. K. Grace, K. M. Grace and B. I. Swanson, Langmuir, 24, 2240-2247 (2008).

“Pathogen detection using single mode planar optical waveguides”, J. S. Martinez, W. K. Grave, K. M. Grace, N. Hartman, and B. I. Swanson, J. Mat. Chem., 15, 4639-4647, (2005).

“Evidence for cholera aggregation on GM1 decorated lipid bilayers”, R. Wang, J. Shi, A. N. Parikh, A. P. Shreve, L. H. Chen, and B. I. Swanson, Biointerfaces, 33, 45-51, (2004).

Direct Observation of Sol-gel Conversion:  The Role of the Solvent in Organogel Formation, R. Wang, C. Geiger, L. Chen, B. Swanson, and D. G. Whitten, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 122, 2399-2340, (2000).

“Direct, Ultrasensitive and Specific Optical Detection of protein Toxins Using Multivalent Interactions”, X. Song and B. I. Swanson, Analytical Chemistry 71 (11), 2097-2107, (1999).

“An optical biosensor based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer:  ultrasensitive and specific detection of protein toxins”, X. Song and B. I. Swanson , J. Am. Chem. Soc., 120, 11515, (1998)