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Robert N Goldberg (Assoc)

Robert N. Goldberg received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry (adviser: Professor Loren G. Hepler) for thermodynamic studies on heavy water and inorganic thermochemistry. He also completed a post-doctoral fellowship (adviser: Professor Henry S. Frank) which involved computer simulations of liquid junction potentials aimed at the determination of single-ion activities. In 1969, he joined the thermochemistry section of NIST (then the National Bureau of Standards). While at NIST he has done extensive research on a variety of topics which include calorimetry, thermodynamics of electrolyte and non‑electrolyte solutions, the evaluation of physical and chemical property data, and biochemical thermodynamics. The latter topic has been the major focus of his research. This effort has resulted in the determination of the thermodynamic properties for a large number of enzyme-catalyzed reactions – including a substantial number of the most important reactions pertinent to biochemistry and physiology as well as reactions that are of major industrial interest.

The biochemical studies involve the combined use of equilibrium and calorimetric measurements coupled with thermodynamic modeling calculations. The information obtained allows for the prediction of the position of equilibrium of the studied reaction(s) over wide ranges of temperature, pH, pMg (pMg =-log­10[Mg2+]), and ionic strength. Recent research has included studies of biochemical reactions in non-aqueous solvents, redox reactions, reactions in the shikimate and chorismate pathways. Codes for performing equilibrium calculations on systems of biochemical reactions have also been developed and published. These codes can be downloaded from the web: or

The entire subject of thermodynamics of enzyme-catalyzed reactions has been surveyed, the data extracted, and made available on the web:

At NIST, Dr. Goldberg also served as Group Leader for Bioprocess Engineering and as Acting Chief of the Biochemical Science Division.


Memberships and Awards

Titular member of IUPAC Commission on Thermodynamics (1993-1995).

Vice‑chairman and Secretary of IUPAC Commission on Biophysical Chemistry (1995-2001).

Member of the IUBMB‑IUPAC Panel on Biochemical Thermodynamics (1992-1994; 2006 to present).

IUPAC Fellow (2003).

Member of the evaluation panel for the geochemistry program of the Office of Basic Energy Sciences of the U.S. Department of Energy (1994).

Member of ASTM Committee E‑48 on Biotechnology (1993 to present).

Member of BioEnergy Coordinating Committee of the U.S. Department of Energy (1994-1998).

Member of Editorial Advisory Board of the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (1995 to present).

Member of the Metabolic Engineering Interagency Working Group of the National Science Foundation(2007 to present).

Measurement Services Award of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (1995).


Representative Publications

R.N. Goldberg and L.G. Hepler, "Thermochemistry and oxidation potentials of the platinum group metals and their compounds," Chem. Rev.68, 229-252 (1968).

R.N. Goldberg and L.G. Hepler, "Thermodynamics of ionization of deuterium oxide," J. Phys. Chem. 72, 4654-4659 (1968).

R.N. Goldberg and H.S. Frank, "Liquid junction potentials and single‑ion activities by computer simulation. I. The concentration cell with transference," J. Phys. Chem.76, 1758-1762 (1972).

P.D. Ross and R.N. Goldberg, "A scanning microcalorimeter for thermally induced transitions in solution," Thermochim. Acta10, 143-151 (1974).

R.N. Goldberg, "Thermodynamics of hexokinase catalyzed‑reactions," Biophys. Chem.3, 192-205 (1975).

R.N. Goldberg and R.L. Nuttall, "Evaluated activity and osmotic coefficients for aqueous solutions: the alkaline earth metal halides," J. Phys. Chem. Ref. Data7, 263-309 (1978).

W.E. May, S.P. Wasik, M.M. Miller, Y.B. Tewari, J.M. Brown‑Thomas, and R.N. Goldberg, "The solution thermodynamics of some slightly soluble hydrocarbons in water," J. Chem. Eng. Data28, 197-200 (1983).

Y.B. Tewari and R.N. Goldberg, "Thermodynamics of the conversion of aqueous glucose to fructose," J. Solution Chem.13, 523-547 (1984).

R.N. Goldberg and V.B. Parker, "Thermodynamics of solution of SO2(g) in water and of aqueous sulfur dioxide solutions," J. Res. Natl. Bur. Stand.90, 341-358(1985).

D.K. Steckler, R.N. Goldberg, Y.B. Tewari, and T.J. Buckley, "High precision microcalorimetry: Apparatus, procedures, and biochemical applications," J. Res. Natl. Bur. Stand.91, 113-121 (1986).

R.N. Goldberg and Y.B. Tewari, "Thermodynamic and transport proper­ties of carbohydrates and their monophosphates: the pentoses and hexoses," J. Phys. Chem. Ref. Data18, 809-880 (1989).

R.N. Goldberg, D. Bell, Y.B. Tewari, and M.A. McLaugh­lin, "Thermodynamics of hydrolysis of oligosaccharides," Biophys. Chem.40, 69-76 (1991).

R.N. Goldberg and Y.B. Tewari, "Thermodynamics of the disproportionation of adenosine 5'‑diphosphate to adenosine 5'‑triphosphate and adenosine 5'‑monophosphate. I. Equili­brium model," Biophys. Chem.40, 241-261 (1991).

R.A. Alberty and R.N. Goldberg, "Standard thermodynamic formation properties for the adenosine triphosphate series," Biochemistry31, 10610-10615 (1992).

R.N. Goldberg, Y.B. Tewari, D. Bell, K. Fazio, and E. Anderson, "Thermodynamics of enzyme‑catalyzed reactions: Part 1. Oxidoreductases," J. Phys. Chem. Ref. Data22, 515‑582 (1993).

R. A. Alberty, A. Cornish‑Bowden, Q.H. Gibson, R.N. Goldberg, G. Hammes, W. Jencks, K.F. Tipton, R. Veech, H.V. Westerhoff, and E.C. Webb, "Recommendations for nomenclature and tables in biochemical thermodynamics," Pure Appl. Chem.66, 1641‑1666 (1994); also published in Eur. J. Biochem.240, 1‑14 (1996).

M.V. Rekharsky, R.N. Goldberg, F.P. Schwarz, Y.B. Tewari, P.D. Ross, Y. Yamashoji, and Y. Inoue, "Thermodynamic and nuclear magnetic resonance study of the interactions of a‑ and b‑cyclodextrin with model substances: Phenethylamine, ephedrines, and related substances," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 117, 8830‑8840 (1995).

P. Kast, Y.B. Tewari, O. Wiest, D. Hilvert, K.N. Houk, and R.N. Goldberg, "Thermodynamics of the conversion of chorismate to prephenate: Experimental results and theoretical predictions," J. Phys. Chem. B101, 10976‑10982 (1997).

D.L. Akers and R.N. Goldberg, "BioEqCalc: A package for performing equilibrium calculations on biochemical reactions," Mathematica J.8, 86-113 (2001).

I. Wadsö and R.N. Goldberg "Standards in isothermal microcalorimetry," Pure Appl. Chem.73, 1625‑1639 (2001).

R.N. Goldberg, N. Kishore, and R.M. Lennen, "Thermodynamic quantities for the ionization reactions of buffers," J. Phys. Chem. Ref. Data31, 231-370 (2002).

R.N. Goldberg, "Enzyme Catalysis - Thermodynamics," in the McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology, McGraw-Hill, New York, pp. 111-114 (2003).

Y.B. Tewari, N. Kishore,B. Lang, R.N. Goldberg, "Thermodynamics of Reactions Catalyzed by D‑Hydantoinase and N‑carbamoyl-D-amino acid hydrolase," J. Chem Thermodyn. 39, 717-728 (2007).

R.N. Goldberg, Y.B. Tewari, and T.N. Bhat, "Thermodynamics of Enzyme‑Catalyzed Reactions: Part 7 ‑ 2007 Update," J. Phys. Chem. Ref. Data36, 1347-1397 (2007).

Y.B. Tewari, D.J. Vanderah, M.M. Schantz, R.N. Goldberg, J.D. Rozzell, J.F. Liebman, R.W. Hui, Y. Nissenbaum, and A.R. Parniani, "A thermodynamic study of ketoreductase-catalyzed reactions. 5. Reduction of substituted ketones in n-hexane," J. Chem. Thermodyn. 40, 661‑670 (2008).

Y.B. Tewari, B.E. Lang, S.R. Decker, and R.N. Goldberg, "Thermodynamics of the hydrolysis reactions of 1,4-b-D-xylobiose, 1,4-b-D-xylotriose, D-cellobiose, and D‑maltose," J. Chem Thermodyn.40, 1517‑1526 (2008).

R.N. Goldberg, B.E. Lang, C. Lo, D.J. Ross, and Y.B. Tewari, "Thermodynamics of the hydrolysis reactions of a-D-galactose 1-phosphate, sn-glycerol 3-phosphate, 4‑nitrophenyl phosphate, phosphocreatine, and 3-phospho-D-glycerate," J. Chem Thermodyn. 41, 654‑665 (2009).


Enzyme-catalyzed Reactions

Robert N. Goldberg
The thermodynamic principles that pertain to both chemical and overall biochemical reactions are discussed with particular emphasis on enzyme-catalyzed

A thermodynamic investigation of the cellulose allomorphs: cellulose(am), cellulose I¿(cr), cellulose II(cr), and cellulose III(cr)

Robert N. Goldberg, Jacob Schliesser, Ashutosh Mittal, Stephen R. Decker, Ana Filipa L. Santos, Vera L. Freitas, Aaron A. Urbas, Brian E. Lang, Christian Heisse, Maria D. Ribeiro da Silva, Brian F. Woodfield, Rui Katahira, Wei Wang, David K. Johnson
The thermochemistry of samples of amorphous cellulose, cellulose I, cellulose II, and cellulose III was studied by using oxygen bomb calorimetry, solution

Standards in Biothermodynamics

Robert N. Goldberg
The field of biothermodynamics encompasses physical property measurements on biochemical and biological systems. This chapter reviews the status of standards

Thermochemistry of alpha-D-xylose(cr)

Robert N. Goldberg, Manuel A. Ribeiro da Silva, Maria D. Ribeiro da Silva, Ana I. Lobo Ferreira, Quan Shi, Brian F. Woodfield
The thermochemistry of alpha-D-xylose(cr) was studied by means of oxygen bomb calorimetry and a Physical Property Measurement System (PPMS) in zero magnetic
Created March 9, 2019, Updated December 8, 2022