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  1. Science & Research (NCTR)

Sanghamitra Majumdar Ph.D.
Leadership Role

Visiting Scientist — Office of Scientific Coordination

Sanghamitra Majumdar, Ph.D.

Sanghamitra Majumdar, Ph.D.
(870) 543-7121

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About  |  Publications


Dr. Sanghamitra Majumdar received a Bachelor of Science (Honors) degree in Botany from University of Delhi, India in 2005. She then obtained a Master of Science degree in Environmental Sciences with a thesis in Environmental Toxicology from Visva Bharati University, India in 2007. She then worked as a project scientist at the National Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India. Dr. Majumdar earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Texas at El Paso, where she worked on the toxicological implications and in situ detection of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) in edible plants, and their trophic transfer in terrestrial environment. Her graduate work was carried out under the auspices of the NSF-EPA funded University of California-Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (UC-CEIN). Following her doctoral studies, she worked as a postdoctoral agricultural research scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES), employing high-resolution liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) to develop and validate analytical methods for small molecule detection in USFDA regulated products, under the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN). Additionally, she investigated the stability kinetics of surface-functionalized quantum dot nanomaterials in plant growth media and correlated the findings with proteomic analysis of roots to identify candidate plant proteins involved in nanomaterial uptake. She then pursued postdoctoral research at the University of California, Santa Barbara, BREN School of Environmental Science and Management, where she investigated the potential, fate and response of nano-enabled agrochemicals on terrestrial plants, using advanced omic technologies, including proteomics and metabolomics.

In September 2019, Dr. Majumdar joined NCTR Nanotechnology Core Facility as a visiting scientist. She serves as a member on the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Committee E56 on Nanotechnology. Dr. Majumdar has co-authored over 25 research articles and reviews, and has delivered over 25 presentations in national and international scientific meetings. She has served as the guest editor for a special issue for the journal Agronomy and serves as a reviewer for more than 10 scientific journals.

Research Interests

Dr. Majumdar’s primary research interest lies in exploring the scope and challenges towards the safe and sustainable use of ENMs in medicine, food and agriculture industries. Although a wide range of nanomaterials have demonstrated their benefits in various applications, there is a lack of comprehensive understanding of their environmental/biological fate, mode of action and biological response. In the past, Dr. Majumdar has contributed significantly to the understanding of interactions of ENMs with crops at physiological, cellular and molecular levels. Her research on nano-plant interaction traversed a “farm to fork approach” providing a holistic understanding of ENMs’ influence on food safety. Her research findings provided insights on the route of uptake of ENMs by plants and its subsequent impact on biochemical machinery and protein-protein interaction in legumes and accumulation in the food chain. She also investigated the properties of various surface ligands that can influence the stability of nanomaterials in natural media, mode of their entry into the plant via specific channel proteins, subcellular sequestration, micronutrient acquisition by roots, and impact on the plant metabolic machinery and oxidative response. In order to comprehend the underlying mechanism of interactions between potential nano-based agrochemicals and agricultural crops. Dr. Majumdar utilized untargeted and targeted omic technologies, including proteomic and metabolomics using LC-MS and matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF) techniques. By integrating proteomics and metabolomics, she has successfully elucidated the mode of action of copper-based ENMs, which increases crop yield by leveraging the photosynthetic activities in the chloroplast, energy transfer in the mitochondria and carbohydrate assimilation. These mechanistic approaches and key findings will enable sustainable agricultural applications of nanomaterials, which are good candidates for crop growth, yield, increased nutrient bioavailability and would help in amending toxicity concerns from overuse of conventional agrochemicals. 

Dr. Majumdar has expertise in ENM characterization, toxicity and biochemical assays, proteomics, metabolomics, and detection and quantitation of inorganic (metal ions) and organic (small and large molecules) species in environmental and biological samples using mass-spectrometry-based analytical techniques. Given her expertise in mass-spectroscopy-based analytical tools, Dr. Majumdar has contributed towards the development of analytical methods for detection of pesticides, antibiotics, phytochemicals, and mycotoxin in food and animal feed using high resolution LC-MS platforms under the FDA-FERN program. 

At NCTR, she extended her expertise in LC-MS techniques towards the development of collaborative consensus ASTM standards on chemical characterization of nanomaterial-enabled drugs and consumer products, which will provide guidance to the regulatory agencies and industry. She is also exploring novel analytical techniques to identify and quantify sub-micron to micron-sized plastic particles in simple and complex matrices, including food, biological and environmental samples. Dr. Majumdar also retains strong interest in elucidation of biomarkers of response and toxicokinetic evaluation of next-generation nanomaterial-based therapeutics and their interference with general metabolic machinery with additional influence due to age, sex and physiological conditions in animals and/or humans. 

Professional Societies/National and International Groups 

American Society for Testing and Materials 
2019 – Present

Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization 
Member, Newsletter Editor 
2013 – 2018

University of California- Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology
2010 – 2014; 2017 – 2019

Selected Publications

Omics to Address the Opportunities and Challenges of Nanotechnology in Agriculture.
Majumdar S. and Keller A.A. 
Crit. Rev. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2020, 1-42. 

Proteomic, Gene and Metabolite Characterization Reveal the Uptake and Toxicity Mechanisms of Cadmium Sulfide Quantum Dots in Soybean Plants.
Majumdar S., Pagano L., Wohlschlegel J.A., Villani M., Zappettini A., White J.C., and Keller A.A.
Environ. Sci.: Nano. 2019, 6(10):3010-3026.

Surface Coating Determines the Response of Soybean Plants to Cadmium Sulfide Quantum Dots.
Majumdar S., Ma C., Villani M., Zuverza-Mena N., Pagano L., Huang Y., Zappettini A., Keller A.A., Marmiroli N., Dhankher O.P., and White J.C.
NanoImpact. 2019, 14:100151.

Effect of Metalloid and Metal Oxide Nanoparticles on Fusarium Wilt of Watermelon.
Elmer W., De La Torre-Roche R., Pagano L., Majumdar S., Zuverza-Mena N., Dimkpa C., Gardea-Torresdey J., and White J.C.
Plant Dis. 2018, 102(7):1394-1401.

Co-exposure of Imidacloprid and Nanoparticle Ag or CeO2 to Cucurbita pepo (zucchini): Contaminant Bioaccumulation and Translocation.
De La Torre Roche R., Pagano L., Majumdar S., Eitzer B.D., Zuverza-Mena N., Ma C., Servin A.D., Marmiroli N., Dhankher O.P., and White J.C.
NanoImpact. 2018, 11:136-145.

A Collaborative Study: Determination of Mycotoxins in Corn, Peanut Butter, and Wheat Flour Using Stable Isotope Dilution Assay (SIDA) and Liquid Chromatography–Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).
Zhang K., Schaab M.R., Southwood G., Tor E.R., Aston L.S., Song W., Eitzer B., Majumdar S., Lapainis T., Mai H., Tran K., El-Demerdash A., Vega V., Cai Y., Wong J.W., Krynitsky A.J., and Begley T.H. 
J Agric Food Chem. 2017, 65(33):7138-7152.

Weathering in Soil Increases Nanoparticle CuO Bioaccumulation Within a Terrestrial Food Chain.
Servin A.D., Pagano L., Castillo-Michel H., De la Torre-Roche R., Hawthorne J., Hernandez-Viezcas J.A., Loredo-Portales R., Majumdar S., Gardea-Torresday J., Dhankher O.P., and White J.C.
Nanotoxicology. 2017, 11(1):98-111.

Exposure of Cucurbita pepo to Binary Combinations of Engineered Nanomaterials: Physiological and Molecular Response.
Pagano L., Pasquali F., Majumdar S., De la Torre-Roche R., Zuverza-Mena N., Villani M., Zappettini A., Marra R., Isch S., Marmiroli M., Maestri E., Dhankher O., White J., and Marmiroli N. 
Environ. Sci.: Nano. 2017, 4(7):1579-1590.

Soil Organic Matter Influences Cerium Translocation and Physiological Processes in Kidney Bean Plants Exposed to Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles.
Majumdar S., Peralta-Videa J.R., Trujillo-Reyes J., Sun Y., Barrios A.C., Niu G., Margez J.P.F., and Gardea-Torresdey J.L.
Sci Total Environ. 2016, 569-570:201-211.

Cerium Biomagnification in a Terrestrial Food Chain: Influence of Particle Size and Growth Stage.
Majumdar S., Trujillo-Reyes J., Hernandez-Viezcas J.A., White J.C., Peralta-Videa J.R., and Gardea-Torresdey J.L. 
Environ Sci Technol. 2016, 50(13):6782-92. 

Molecular Response of Crop Plants to Engineered Nanomaterials.
Pagano L., Servin A.D., De La Torre-Roche R., Mukherjee A., Majumdar S., Hawthorne J., Marmiroli M., Maestri E., Marra R.E., Isch S.M., Dhankher O.P., White J.C., and Marmiroli N. 
Environ Sci Technol. 2016,50(13):7198-207.

Carbon Nanomaterials in Agriculture: A Critical Review.
Mukherjee A., Majumdar S., Servin A.D., Pagano L., Dhankher O.P., and White J.C. 
Front Plant Sci. 2016, 7:172. 

Environmental Effects of Nanoceria on Seed Production of Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris): A Proteomic Analysis.
Majumdar S., Almeida I.C., Arigi E.A., Choi H., VerBerkmoes N.C., Trujillo-Reyes J., Flores-Margez J.P., White J.C., Peralta-Videa J.R., and Gardea-Torresdey J.L. 
Environ Sci Technol. 2015,49(22):13283-93.

Monitoring the Environmental Effects of CeO2 and ZnO Nanoparticles Through the Life Cycle of Corn (Zea mays) Plants and In Situ μ-XRF Mapping of Nutrients in Kernels.
Zhao L., Sun Y., Hernandez-Viezcas J.A., Hong J., Majumdar S., Niu G., Duarte-Gardea M., Peralta-Videa J.R., and Gardea-Torresdey J.L. 
Environ Sci Technol. 2015, 49(5):2921-8.

Particle-Size Dependent Accumulation and Trophic Transfer of Cerium Oxide through a Terrestrial Food Chain.
Hawthorne J., De la Torre Roche R., Xing B., Newman L.A., Ma X., Majumdar S., Gardea-Torresdey J., and White J.C. 
Environ Sci Technol. 2014, 48(22):13102-9.

Exposure of Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles to Kidney Bean Shows Disturbance in the Plant Defense Mechanisms.
Majumdar S., Peralta-Videa J.R., Bandyopadhyay S., Castillo-Michel H., Hernandez-Viezcas J.A., Sahi S., and Gardea-Torresdey J.L. 
J Hazard Mater. 2014, 278:279-87.

Exposure Studies of Core–shell Fe/Fe3O4 and Cu/CuO NPs to Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) Plants: Are They a Potential Physiological and Nutritional Hazard?
Trujillo-Reyes J., Majumdar S., Botez C.E., Peralta-Videa J.R., and Gardea-Torresdey J.L. 
J. Hazard. Mater. 2014, 267:255-63.

Citric Acid Modifies Surface Properties of Commercial CeO2 Nanoparticles Reducing Their Toxicity and Cerium Uptake in Radish (Raphanus sativus) Seedlings.
Trujillo-Reyes J., Vilchis-Nestor A.R., Majumdar S., Peralta-Videa J.R., and Gardea-Torresdey J.L.
J. Hazard. Mater. 2013, 263 (2):677-84. 

Applications of Synchrotron μ-XRF to Study the Distribution of Biologically Important Elements in Different Environmental Matrices: A Review.
Majumdar S., Peralta-Videa J.R., Castillo-Michel H., Hong J., Rico C.M., and Gardea-Torresdey J. L. 
Anal Chim Acta. 2012, 755:1-16.

Interaction of Nanoparticles with Edible Plants and Their Possible Implications in the Food Chain.
Rico C.M., Majumdar S., Duarte-Gardea M., Peralta-Videa J. R., and Gardea-Torresdey J. L.
J. Agric. Food Chem. 2011, 59(8):3485-98.

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