Erica L. Majumder | Chemistry | SUNY-ESF
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Erica L. MajumderAssistant Professor

Erica Majumder

318 Jahn Lab
1 Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210



Dr. Majumder is an Assistant Professor in Biochemistry at ESF. 

GoogleScholar: Erica L-W Majumder



Twitter: @elmtree1111

Training and Education

Post-Doctoral Research Associate, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA               8/2018-7/2019

  • Mentor: Gary Siuzdak, Center for Metabolomics and Mass Spectrometry 
  • Integration of metabolomics into systems biology of microbial communities, sulfur metabolism

Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO                                              8/2015-7/2018

  • Mentor: Judy D. Wall, Department of Biochemistry
  • Genetic, proteomic and metabolomic characterization of uranium-reducing anaerobic bacteria

Ph.D. Chemistry, Washington University in St. Louis, MO                                                8/2010-5/2015

  • Mentor: Robert E. Blankenship, Departments of Chemistry and Biology
  • Structure, function of cyclic electron transport chain proteins from anoxygenic phototrophs

B.A. ACS Chemistry with Honors, Drury University, Springfield, MO                              8/2006-5/2010

  • summa cum laude, Minors in Global Studies, Spanish, Math and Physics

Research Interests

 The Majumder Lab employs ‘omics-guided biochemistry to study the mechanisms and consequences of novel microbial metabolisms in environmental settings with three primary research themes:

1. Environmentally-induced metabolic alterations (and their consequences)
2. Gene and metabolite function in situ
3. Environmental applications of novel microbial chemistries

Recent work of Dr. Majumder's was highlighted in a Nature technology news feature 9/24/19

Theme 1: Environmentally-induced metabolic alterations
One of the primary lessons the scientific community learned from the human genome and earth microbiome projects is that genome information alone cannot sufficiently explain observed phenotypes and that environmental factors are a significant, if not the main driving factor affecting phenotype presentation. Using a combination of genomics, metabolomics and biochemistry, we aim to elucidate the mechanisms of how environmental factors cause changes to an organism’s metabolism and result in the observed phenotype. Potential projects focused on this theme are (1) investigating the contributions of metabolism to prognosis in tick-borne diseases like Lyme’s, and (2) the shifts in microbial community activity with increasing microplastic contamination in freshwater sediments and wastewater treatment plant sludge.

Theme 2: Gene and metabolite function in situ
We recognize that one of the primary limitations of the big data era to understand complex biological systems is the reliance on incomplete genome annotations. Current genome annotations do not account for the multiplicity of functions one gene may perform nor do they include atypical metabolic pathways, therefore we limit our genome-based analyses of biological function. We propose to use genomics and metabolomics-based technologies to point to the unknowns and then perform the biochemical analysis to determine the roles for specific genes and metabolites in different conditions such as rhizosphere nutrient cycling or metabolic connections between co-presenting diseases. Using workflows developed by Dr. Majumder, we will also use AI-based scientific literature searching tools to make condition-specific connections about gene and metabolite function.

Theme 3: Environmental applications of novel microbial chemistries
As more and more organisms are sequenced and cultured, we are learning about an increasing range of microbial metabolisms and chemistries, especially from anaerobic bacteria. After determining these novel chemical capabilities, we can apply this knowledge and these microbes for greener solutions. Initial efforts in this theme are focused on the electron transfer and bioinorganic synthetic capabilities of anaerobes towards enhanced wastewater treatment and electricity production in photobioelectrochemical calls.

Connections across themes:
We anticipate cross-talk between the themes as genetic tools, mass spectrometry methods, and data analysis pipelines developed in one theme will be applicable in others.

Student Research Opportunities

The Majumder lab is currently recruiting students for all three research themes:

  • up to 3 PhD students, at least one starting Fall 2020 and up to 2 more by Fall 2022
  • Undergraduate researchers for academic year and summer research opportunities starting Spring semester 2020 and after

Please email Dr. Majumder if you are interested. Include your CV or resume and a short statement of your research interests (1 paragraph). 


In preparation:

  1. Majumder, E.L.W., Huan, T. Forsberg, E.M., Putt, A., Hazen, T., Wall, J.D., Siuzdak, G. Sulfur systems biology guided by stable isotope metabolomics reveals new sulfur metabolism pathway in sulfate-reducing bacterium.
  2. Smith, H.S., Lui, L., Majumder, E.L.W., von Netzer, F., + ENIGMA consortium. Exclusion of sulfate and nitrate reducing bacteria and activity in contaminated subsurface sediments of the Oak Ridge Field Research site.
  3. Otwell, A.O., Majumder, E.L.W., Carr, A. Turksalan, S., Stahl, D., Siuzdak, G., Baliga, N. Mechanistic insights into inhibition of nitrate reduction by reduced sulfur compounds in the field isolate Intrasporangium calvum C5.
  4. Elnahas, M.O., Majumder, E.L.W., Wall, J.D.  Optimized production of EPS and siderophores from Streptomyces MOE6 for enhanced emulsification and metal chelation.
  5.  Majumder, E.L.W., Hou, L., Wall, J.D., Hu, Z. Mechanisms of electron transfer and optogenetic current enhancement of sulfate-reducing bacteria in microbial fuel cell.

Submitted/Under Review/Accepted:

  1. Majumder, E.L.W., Billings, E.M., Benton, H.P. Martin, R.L., Palermo, A., Guijas, C. Rinschen, M.M., Domingo-Almenara1, X., Montenegro-Burke, J.R., Plumb, R.S., Siuzdak, G. Cognitive Analysis of Metabolomics Data for Systems Biology. Submitted.
  2. Majumder, E.L.W., Whittle, F.B., Fitriasari, S., Petzold, C., Mooney, B., Wall, J.D. The in vivo interactome and roles of thioredoxins in sulfate-reducing bacterial metabolism. Submitted.
  3. Domingo-Almenara, X., Montenegro-Burke, J.R., Guijas, C. Majumder, E.L.W., Benton, H.P., Siuzdak, G. Autonomous METLIN-guided in-source fragment detection increases annotation confidence in untargeted metabolomics. In Press, Analytical Chemistry
  4. Krantz, G.P., Lucas, K., Majumder, E.L.W., Hoang, L.T., Avci, R., Siuzdak, G., Fields, M.W. Bulk phase resource ratio alters metal corrosion rates and extracellular electron transfer mediators in a sulfate-reducing biofilm. In press, Biofouling.


  1. Ge, X., Vaccaro, B.J., Thorgersen, M.P., Poole II, F.L., Majumder, E.L., Zane, M.G., De León, K.B., Lancaster, W.A., Moon, J.W., Paradis, C.J., von Netzer, F., Stahl, D.A., Adams, P.D., Arkin, A.P., Wall, J.D., Hazen, T.C., Adams, M.W.W. Iron- and Aluminum-Induced Depletion of Molybdenum in Acidic Environments Impedes the Nitrogen Cycle. In press, Environmental Microbiology
  2. Majumder, E.L.W., Wall, J.D. Bio-transformations of Uranium: Chemical or Biological Processes? Open Journal of Inorganic Chemistry 7, 28-60 (2017).
  3. Huan, T., Forsberg, E. M., Rinehart, D., Johnson, C. H., Ivanisevic, J., Benton, H. P., Fang, M., Aisporna, A., Hilmers, B., Poole, F. L., Thorgersen, M. P., Adams, M. W. W.,  Krantz, G., Fields, M. W., Robbins, P. D., Niedernhofer, L. J., Ideker, T., Majumder, E. L., Wall, J. D., Rattray, N. J. W., Goodacre, R., Lairson, L. L., Siuzdak, G. Systems Biology Guided by XCMS Online Metabolomics. Nature Methods 14, 461-462 (2017).
  4. Majumder, E.L.W., Wolf, B.M., Liu, H.J., Berg, R.H., Timlin, J.A., & Blankenship, R.E. Subcellular Pigment Distribution is Altered under Far Red Light Acclimation in Cyanobacteria that Contain Chlorophyll f. Photosynthesis Research 134, 183-192 (2017).
  5. Majumder, E. L. Olsen, J. D., Qian, P., Collins, A. M., Hunter, C. N., Blankenship, R. E.   Supramolecular organization of photosynthetic complexes in membranes of Roseiflexus castenholzii. Photosynthesis Research 127, 117-130, (2016).
  6. Majumder, E. L.-W. & Blankenship, R. E. The Diversity of Photosynthetic Cytochromes in Cytochrome Complexes: Evolution, Structures, Energy Transduction, and Signaling Vol. 41 (eds William A Cramer & Kallas Toivo) Ch. 2, 25-50 (Springer, 2016).
  7. Zhang, Y., Majumder, E. L.-W., Yue, H., Blankenship, R. E. & Gross, M. L. Structural Analysis of Diheme Cytochrome c by Hydrogen–Deuterium Exchange Mass Spectrometry and Homology Modeling. Biochemistry 53, 5619-5630 (2014).
  8. Majumder, E. L., King, J. D. & Blankenship, R. E. Alternative Complex III from Phototrophic Bacteria and its Electron Acceptor Auracyanin. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta -Bioenergetics 1827, 1383-1391 (2013).
  9. Gao, X., Majumder, E. L.-W., Kang, Y., Yue, H. & Blankenship, R. E. Functional Analysis and Expression of the Mono-Heme Containing Cytochrome c Subunit of Alternative Complex III in Chloroflexus aurantiacus. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 535, 197-204 (2013).
  10. Badhwar, J., Karri, S., Cass, C. K., Wunderlich, E. L. & Znosko, B. M. Thermodynamic characterization of RNA duplexes containing naturally occurring 1× 2 nucleotide internal loops. Biochemistry 46, 14715-14724 (2007).