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Leah Casabianca

Leah Casabianca Associate Professor
Physical Chemistry

Office: 473 Hunter Laboratories

Research Interests | Publications | Research Group


Dr. Casabianca received a B. S. degree in chemistry from Rice University in 2002 where she did undergraduate research with Prof. Seiichi P.T. Matsuda.  She completed her Ph. D. in the lab of Prof. Angel C. de Dios at Georgetown University in 2008.  Her thesis work involved using solution-state NMR and chemical shift calculations to understand the mechanism of action of anti-malarial drugs.  She then did a postdoctoral fellowship (2008-2010) with Prof. Yoshitaka Ishii at the University of Illinois at Chicago working on structural characterization of graphite oxide.  Her second postdoctoral fellowship was in the group of Prof. Lucio Frydman at the Weizmann Institute (2010-2013) where she worked on dynamic nuclear polarization of diamond samples.  She joined the faculty at Clemson University in 2014, received an
NSF CAREER award in 2018, and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2020.

Research Interests

Research in the Casabianca group focuses on using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) to study the interactions between nanomaterials and biological molecules.  As nanotechnology becomes more prevalent in our everyday lives, it is important to understand how nano-scale systems interact with proteins, lipids, and other biological ligands.  Studies involving interactions between nanomaterials and biological molecules have traditionally used low-resolution techniques such as Raman spectroscopy, electron microscopy, and circular dichroism spectroscopy.  NMR, on the other hand, is a local technique capable of providing atomic-level information about the electronic environment surrounding each atom.  In our lab we will use solution and solid-state NMR experiments, as well as theoretical chemical shift calculations and molecular dynamics simulations in order to shed light on the structure and dynamics of nanomaterial-ligand binding.  This multidisciplinary work has applications in the areas of biomedical devices, materials science, and nanoparticle toxicity.


A complete list of publications can be found here:

“Probing Driving Forces for Binding Between Nanoparticles and Amino Acids by Saturation-Transfer Difference NMR” H. Xu and L. B. Casabianca, Sci. Rep., in press (2020).

“Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance studies of nanoparticles” L. B. Casabianca, Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, 2020, 107, 101664.

“Calculating Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Chemical Shifts in Solvated Systems” L. B. Casabianca, Magn. Reson. Chem., 2020, 58, 611-624.

“13C Saturation-Transfer Difference (STD)-NMR Experiments Using INEPT Polarization Transfer” H. Xu, D. Lustig and L. B. Casabianca, Appl. Magn. Reson., 2020, 51, 277-286.

“Dehydration of fructose over thiol- and sulfonic- modified alumina in a continuous reactor for 5-HMF production: Study of catalyst stability by NMR” F. J. Morales-Leal, J. Rivera de la Rosa, C. J. Lucio-Ortiz, D. A. De Haro-Del Rio, C. Solis Maldonado, S. Wi, L. B. Casabianca and C. D. Garcia, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 2019, 224, 250-261.

“Probing Amino Acid Interaction with a Polystyrene Nanoparticle Surface Using Saturation-Transfer Difference (STD)-NMR” Y. Zhang and L. B. Casabianca, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2018, 9, 6921-6925.

“Key-and-lock commodity self-healing copolymers” M. W. Urban, D. Davydovich, Y. Yang, T. Demir, Y. Zhang and L. Casabianca, Science, 2018, 362, 220-225.

“Interaction Between Cyanine Dye IR-783 and Polystyrene Nanoparticles in Solution” Y. Zhang, H. Xu and L. B. Casabianca, Magn. Reson. Chem., 2018, 56, 1054-1060.

"Examining Binding to Nanoparticle Surfaces Using Saturation-Transfer Difference (STD)-NMR Spectroscopy"  Y. Zhang, H. Xu, A. M. Parsons and L. B. Casabianca, J. Phys. Chem. C, 2017, 121, 24678-24686.

"Interplay Between π -Stacking and Hydrogen Bonding in the Self-Association of Different Isomers of Naphthalenedicarboxylic Acid" P. D. Greenstein and L. B. Casabianca, J. Phys. Chem. B, 2017, 121, 5086-5093.

"Effect of Curvature on Carbon Chemical Shielding in Extended Carbon Systems" L.B. Casabianca, J. Phys. Chem. A 2016, 120, 7011-7019.

"BDPA-Doped Polystyrene Beads as Polarization Agents for DNP-NMR" Y. Zhang, P. J. Baker and L. B. Casabianca, J. Phys. Chem. B 2016, 120, 18-24.

"Single-Sided Stray-Field NMR Profiling Using Chirped Radiofrequency Pulses" L. B. Casabianca, Y. Sarda, E. Bergman, U. Nevo and L. Frydman, Appl. Magn. Reson. 2015, 46, 909-919. 

“Chirped CPMG for Well-Logging NMR Applications” L. B. Casabianca, D. Mohr, S. Mandal, Y.-Q. Song and L. Frydman, J. Magn. Reson. 2014, 242, 197-202.

“Chemical Structures of Hydrazine-treated Graphene Oxide and Generation of Aromatic Nitrogen Doping” S. Park, Y. Hu, J. O. Hwang, E.-S. Lee, L. B. Casabianca, W. Cai, J. R. Potts, H.-W. Ha, S. Chen, J. Oh, S. O. Kim, Y.-H. Kim, Y. Ishii and R. S. Ruoff, Nature Communications 2012, 3, 638.

“Factors Affecting DNP NMR in Polycrystalline Diamond Samples” L. B. Casabianca, A. I. Shames, A. M. Panich, O. Shenderova and L. Frydman, J. Phys. Chem. C 2011, 115, 19041-19048.

“The Hydroxyl Functionality and a Rigid Proximal N are Required for Forming a Novel Non-covalent Quinine-heme Complex” J. N. Alumasa, A. P. Gorka, L. B. Casabianca, E. Comstock, A. C. de Dios and P. D. Roepe, J. Inorg. Biochem. 2011, 105, 467-475.

“NMR-Based Structural Modeling of Graphite Oxide Using Multidimensional 13C Solid-State NMR and ab Initio Chemical Shift Calculations” L. B. Casabianca, M. A. Shaibat, W. W. Cai, S. Park, R. Piner, R. S. Ruoff and Y. Ishii, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 5672-5676.

“Distinguishing Polymorphs of the Semiconducting Pigment Copper Phthalocyanine by Solid-State NMR and Raman Spectroscopy” M. A. Shaibat, L. B. Casabianca, D. Y. Siberio-Pérez, A. J. Matzger and Y. Ishii, J. Phys. Chem. B 2010, 114, 4400-4406.

“Synthesis and Structural Determination of Two Triphenyltin Thiosalicylates” R. Knighton, X. Song, R. Pike, A. C. de Dios, L. Casabianca and G. Eng, J. Coord. Chem. 2009, 62, 3110-3116.

“Antimalarial Drugs and Heme in Detergent Micelles: An NMR Study” L. B. Casabianca, J. B. Kallgren, J. K. Natarajan, J. N. Alumasa, P. D. Roepe, C. Wolf, and A. C. de Dios, J. Inorg. Biochem. 2009, 103, 745-748.

“Quinine and Chloroquine Differently Perturb Heme Monomer-Dimer Equilibrium” L. B. Casabianca, D. An, J. K. Natarajan, J. Alumasa, P. D. Roepe, C. Wolf and A. C. de Dios, Inorg. Chem. 2008, 47, 6077-6081.

“4-N, 4-S & 4-O Chloroquine Analogues: Influence of Side Chain Length and Quinolyl Nitrogen pKa on Activity vs. Chloroquine Resistant Malaria” J. K. Natarajan, J. Alumasa, K. Yearick, K. Ekoue-Kovi, L. B. Casabianca, A. C. de Dios, C. Wolf and P. D. Roepe, J. Med. Chem. 2008, 51, 3466-3479.

“Ab Initio Calculations of NMR Chemical Shifts” L. B. Casabianca and A. C. de Dios, J. Chem. Phys. 2008, 128, 052201.

“Progress in 13C and 1H Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance for Paramagnetic Systems under Very Fast Magic Angle Spinning” N. P. Wickramasinghe, M. A. Shaibat, C. R. Jones, L. B. Casabianca, A. C. de Dios, J. S. Harwood and Y. Ishii, J. Chem. Phys. 2008, 128, 052210.

“Characterization of Polymorphs and Solid-State Reactions for Paramagnetic Systems by 13C Solid-State NMR and ab Initio Calculations” M. A. Shaibat, L. B. Casabianca, N. P. Wickramasinghe, S. Guggenheim, A.C. de Dios and Y. Ishii, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 10968-10969.

“Synthesis, Larvicidal, QSAR and Structural Studies of Some Triorganotin 2,2,3,3-tetramethylcyclopropanecarboxylates” X. Song, A. Zapata, J. Hoerner, A. C. de Dios, L. Casabianca and G. Eng, Appl. Organometal. Chem. 2007, 21, 545-550.

“Synthesis, Structural and Larvicidal Studies of Some Triorganotin 2-(p-chlorophenyl)-3-methylbutyrates” G. Eng, X. Song, A. Zapata, A. C. de Dios, L. Casabianca and R. D. Pike, J. Organometallic Chem. 2007, 692, 1398-1404.

“Relationship Between NMR Shielding and Heme Binding Strength for a Series of 7-substituted Quinolines” L. B. Casabianca and A. C. de Dios, J. Phys. Chem. A 2006, 110, 7787-7792.

“Interactions Between Pairs of Antimalarial Drugs Studied by Experimental and Ab initio 13C NMR Chemical Shifts” L. B. Casabianca and A. C. de Dios, Mag. Reson. Chem. 2006, 44, 276-282.

“Carbon Chemical Shift Tensor Components in Quinolines and Quinoline N-Oxides” L. B. Casabianca, C. M. Faller and A. C. de Dios, J. Phys. Chem. A 2006, 110, 234-240.

“Structure of the Amodiaquine-FPIX µ oxo Dimer Solution Complex at Atomic Resolution” A. C. de Dios, L. B. Casabianca, A. D. Kosar and P. D. Roepe, Inorg. Chem. 2004, 43, 8078-8084.

13C NMR Study of the Self-Association of Chloroquine, Amodiaquine, and Quinine” L. B. Casabianca and A. C. de Dios, J. Phys. Chem. A 2004, 108, 8505-8513.