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  8. Goutam Palui
  1. National Center for Toxicological Research

Goutam Palui Ph.D.
Leadership Role

Goutam Palui

Staff Fellow — Office of Scientific Coordination

Dr. Goutam Palui

Goutam Palui, Ph.D.
(870) 543-7391

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About  |  Publications


Dr. Goutam Palui received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and master’s degree in organic chemistry from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India, followed by a Ph.D. in chemistry and bio-chemistry from the department of biological science, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, India. He then pursued postdoctoral research work at Florida State University and gained experience in the field of nano-biotechnology to develop multi-functional targeted drug delivery and imaging systems for interfacing the nanomaterials in biology. Dr. Palui dedicated seven years to the study of material science in the academic setting. Using his expertise in organic chemistry he designed inorganic nanomaterials to interface with them in biology. 

  • Synthesis and characterization of various inorganic nanocrystals (metallic such as gold and silver nanoparticles, magnetic such as iron oxide, and semiconductor QDs); developing various synthetic approaches of making new organic coatings based on different multi-dentate, multifunctional module(s); this includes both small molecule and polymers.  
  • Use of nanoparticle as a platform for delivering drug or bioactive molecules such proteins and antibody, sensing, imaging and tracking in vitro, as well as in vivo experiment.
  • Designing a specific peptide molecule as enzyme substrates; probing the interaction between protein/enzyme and specific peptide using QD-bioconjugates.
  • Developing FRET-based sensors for biology
  • Synthesis of chiral polymers and block copolymers to create materials that mirror advanced material functions but have improved properties over their biological counterparts.

Dr. Palui joined FDA/NCTR in January 2018 as a staff fellow in the Office of Scientific Coordination (OSC). His current studies at NCTR are focused on the development of nanomaterials and their toxicity assessment both in vivo and in vitro. The main areas of his research are:

  • Developing standards that can help regulatory agencies and industry and being actively involved in advanced training for postdocs and undergraduate researchers.
  • Engineering the surface of nanomaterials with organic coatings and evaluating the toxicity-related issues of nano-drugs regulated by FDA.
  • Developing bio-compatible, multi-functional new nanomaterials that can be used safely for therapeutic purposes.

Dr. Palui has co-authored more than 40 publications, book chapters, and reviews.

Research Interest

Dr. Palui designed and synthesized functional “polymer and block copolymer” systems with the goal of creating new materials that address key issues in society. Macromolecules can autonomously self-assemble into a hierarchy of secondary, tertiary, and even quaternary structures which can be utilized as synthetic proteins. Dr. Palui’s research activities aim to judiciously incorporate chirality (a chiral molecule/ion is non-superposable on its mirror image) into synthetic homopolymers and block polymers to create materials that mirror these advanced functions but have improved “anti-biofouling” properties for marine vessels, medical implants, or algae-resistant glass. Another aspect of his research includes the synthesis of precision polymer with improved thermal and mechanical properties.

Dr. Palui improved understanding of the biological (as well as non-biological) systems by interfacing the “inorganic nanocrystals” (such as semiconductor, metallic, and magnetic nanoparticles) coated with various synthetic polymer ligands. Engineering the surface of nanoparticles with different reactive end-functionality to attach biomolecules and finally apply them for biotechnology including live-cell imaging, brain imaging, protein tracking, etc. His primary areas of experience include:

  • The design and synthesis of poly (ethylene glycol)-based new biocompatible polymers to coat the hydrophobic nanoparticles, introducing various bio-conjugation techniques—attaching proteins, peptides, and drugs.
  • The design, synthesis, and characterization of various peptide and pseudopeptide molecules which self-assemble in aqueous, as well as organic media, to provide nano-structured gel materials.


Selected Publications

Non-Invasive Characterization of the Organic Coating of Biocompatible Quantum Dots Using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.disclaimer icon
Zhang C., Palui G., Zeng B., Zhan N., Chen B., and Mattoussi H.
Chem. Mater. 2018, 30, 3454−3466.

Bio-Orthogonal Coupling as a Means of Quantifying the Ligand Density on Hydrophilic Quantum Dots.
Zhan N., Palui G., Merkl J., and Mattoussi H. 
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 3190–3201. 

Controlling the Architecture, Coordination, and Reactivity of Nanoparticle Coating Utilizing an Amino Acid Central Scaffold.
Zhan N., Palui G., Kapur A., Palomo V., Dawson P., and Mattoussi H.
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 16084–16097. 

Preparation of Compact Biocompatible Quantum Dots Using Multicoordinating Molecular-Scale Ligands Based on a Zwitterionic Hydrophilic Motif and Lipoic Acid Anchors.
Zhan N., Palui G., Safi M., and Mattoussi H.
Nat. Protocols. 2015, 10, pp 859–874.

Photoligation of an Amphiphilic Polymer with Mixed Coordination Provides Compact and Reactive Quantum Dots.
Wang W., Kapur A., Ji X., Safi M., Palui G., Palomo V., Dawson P., and Mattoussi H. 
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137, 5438–5451.

UV and Sunlight Driven Photoligation of Quantum Dots: Understanding the Photochemical Transformation of the Ligands.
Aldeek F., Hawkins D., Palomo V., Safi M., Palui G., Dawson P., Alabugin I., and Mattoussi H. 
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137, 2704–2714. 

Understanding the Self-Assembly of Proteins onto Gold Nanoparticles and Quantum Dots Driven by Metal-Histidine Coordination.
Aldeek F., Safi M., Zhan N., Palui G., and Mattoussi H.
ACS Nano, 2013, 7, 10197–10210. 

Multidentate Zwitterionic Ligands Provide Compact and Highly Biocompatible Quantum Dots.
Zhan N., Zhan N., Palui G., Safi M., and Mattoussi H.
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 13786–13795. 

Photoinduced Phase Transfer of Luminescent Quantum Dots to Polar and Aqueous Media.
Goutam Palui G., Tommaso Avellini T., Zhan N., Zhan N., Pan F., Gray D., Alabugin I., and Mattoussi H.
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 16370–16378.

Growth of In Situ Functionalized Luminescent Silver Nanoclusters by Direct Reduction and Size Focusing.
Muhammed M., Aldeek F., Palui G., Trapiella-Alfonso L., and Mattoussi H.
ACS Nano, 2012, 6, 8950–8961. 

On the pH-Dependent Quenching of Quantum Dot Photoluminescence by Redox Active Dopamine.
Ji X., Palui G., Avellini T., Na H., Yi C., Knappenberger K., and Mattoussi H.
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 6006–6017. 

Poly(ethylene glycol)-based Multidentate Oligomers for Biocompatible Semiconductor and Gold Nanocrystals.
Palui G., Na H., and Mattoussi H.
Langmir 2012, 28, 2761−2772.

Multidentate Catechol-based Polyethylene Glycol Oligomers Provide Enhanced Stability and Biocompatibility to Iron Oxide Nanoparticles.
Na H., Palui G., Rosenberg J., Ji X., Grant S., and Mattoussi H.
ACS Nano, 2012, 6, 389–399. 

Organogels from Different Self-Assembling New Dendritic Peptides: Morphology, Reheology, and Structural Investigations.
Palui G., Nanda J., Garai A., Nandi A., and Banerjee A.
J. Phys. Chem. B 2010, 114, 1249-1256.

Fabrication of Luminescent CdS Nanoparticles on Short Peptide based Hydrogel Nanofibers: Tuning of Optoelectronic Properties.
Palui G., Nanda J., Ray S., and Banerjee A.
Chem. Eur. J.  2009, 15, 6902-6909.


Contact Information
Goutam Palui
(870) 543-7391