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The Jackson Group
Department of Forensic and Investigative Science
Our long-term goal is to catalyze the progress of biomedical, analytical and forensic research through the development of mass spectrometric instruments and techniques . We currently have several major projects under way:  
  1. New ways of fragmenting gas-phase bio-ions in tandem mass spectrometers using kiloelectronvolt helium ions. We use the term charge transfer dissociation (CTD-MS) to describe the mechanism of activation. (example publication)
  2. New forensic applications of isotope ratio mass spectrometry, including hair, nails and blow flies. We use an LC-IRMS system to analyze the 13C abundances of the different amino acids  (example publication)
  3. Understanding the mass spectrometric fragmentation behavior of novel psychoactive substances (NPSs). (example publication)
  4. Development of new algorithms for mass spectral comparisons.
  5. Developing experimental and theoretical approaches to understand the evaporation of ignitable liquids at elevated temperatures (e.g. 200 °C). (example publication) 

Click on the publications tab in the menu bar to see all our recent publications.

Latest News


J. TYLER DAVIDSON WINS WVU FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP (DEC 2019)

Tyler Davidson
Congratulations to Tyler for his recent receipt of the 2019 WVU Foundation Distinguished Doctoral Scholarship. Tyler is currently completing his third and final year of his PhD in Forensic and Investigative Science at WVU.  The Scholarship provide $5,000 to doctoral students who have been admitted to doctoral candidacy and who are working toward the completion of their dissertations during the Spring 2020 term. 

SAM MEHNERT AND DR. JACKSON PRESENT AT EAS (NOV 2019)

Sam Mehnert at EAS, Nov 2019 Congratulations to Sam for presenting her poster titled "Development of a Flexible Algorithm for Substance Identification Using Mass Spectrometry" at Eastern Analytical Symposium (EAS) in Plainsboro, NJ. Sam also received an EAS student research award at the meeting. Dr. Jackson spoke in a special session recognizing his former colleague at OHIO, Dr. Peter Harrington, who received the 2019 EAS Award for Outstanding Achievements in Chemometrics

GROUP PARTICIPATES IN STEM OUTREACH (NOV 2019)

Jackson group at CLES Science Fair 2019
Several members of the Jackson group volunteered to run an activity station at the 14th Annual Cheat Lake Elementary Science Fair. The group taught ~80 elementary students how to write in secret code with invisible starch solutions, then make them magically appear using iodine. Many members of the Forensic and Investigative Science (FIS) Club  ran a fingerprinting activity station and helped to judge the poster presentations. This year marks the 5th and final year that Dr. Jackson has chaired the science fair.

SciX 2019 IN PALM SPRINGS, CA (OCT 2019)

Mary Kate Donais at SciX 2019 Dr. Jackson again served as the FACSS photographer at the recent SciX conference in Palm, Springs, CA. Video montages of the conference are available on the SciX YouTube channel Dr. Jackson also: 1) served as co-chair for the mass spectrometry section, 2) served as chair of the session titled "Forensic applications of mass spectrometry", 3) gave two oral presentations on the topic of seized drug analysis using mass spectrometry, 4) served as a judge for the mass spectrometry posters, 5) oversaw the selection and presentation of the inaugural Elsevier Forensic Chemistry awards, and 6) attended numerous FACSS committee meetings as FACSS Secretary.  

ASCLD DESIGNATES FORENSIC CHEMISTRY AS A PREFERRED JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY (OCT 2019)

ASCLD logo The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors ( ASCLD) recently designated Forensic Chemistry as a preferred journal of their society. As Co-Editors-in-Chief of Forensic Chemistry, Profs Almirall and Jackson are proud to be recognized by one of the leading organizations of the forensic practitioner community as a valuable provider of new knowledge in forensic chemistry.

DR. JACKSON ATTENDS MEETINGS IN FRANCE (SEPT-OCT 2019)

David Ropartz, Hagen Buck-Wiese and Glen Jackson collect CTD data at INRA in Nantes, France
Dr. Jackson traveled to France to participate in two different events: 1) to give  plenary lecture at the joint meeting on the French Society of Mass Spectrometry (SFSM), the Electrophoresis and Proteomic Analysis (SFEAP) and the Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Analysis (SMAP) congress in Strasbourg, France, and 2) to conduct additional experiments with our collaborators, Dr. David Ropartz and Dr. Helene Rogniaux at INRA in Nantes, France.   (Click photo for  full resolution )

GROUP HOSTS RESEARCHERS FROM PROF. MECHREF'S GROUP (JUL 2019)

Yifan and Wenjing visit to Jackson lab, July 2019
We welcomed Yifan Huang and Wenjing Peng from Dr. Mechref's group at Texas Tech. U. to conduct some on-line CTD experiments of different glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). The exchange of information between the two groups was very fruitful, and we look forward to conducting some follow-up experiments to demonstrate the value of CTD for the analysis of N-linked glycans.  (Click photo for  full resolution )

DR. JACKSON GIVES PLENARY LECTURE AT NIST'S RI2I WORKSHOP (JUN 2019)

Jackson NIST RI2I 2019 Dr. Jackson gave the opening address at NIST's Research Innovation to Implementation workshop. The workshop was held on June 19-20 to address the questions: What can the forensic science community do differently so that new technologies come online faster? and How can we reduce the obstacles to successful innovation? A webcast of the first day's presentations can be found on YouTube. (Click photo for  full resolution )

SAM MEHNERT WINS EASTERN ANALYTICAL SYMPOSIUM (EAS) STUDENT RESEARCH AWARD (MAY 2019)

Sam Mehnert 2019 EAS award Congratulations to Sam for her receipt of the 2019 EAS Student Research Award. Sam received an all-expenses paid trip to the EAS conference in Princeton, NJ to present her research. The photo (left) was taken at the conference in November 2019. 

MAYARA MATOS GRADUATES WITH PHD (MAY 2019)

Congratulations to Dr. Matos for the receipt of her PhD. We wish you all the best for your postdoctoral position at the FDA. 

SAM MEHNERT WINS ACS ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY AWARD (APR 2019)

Sam Mehnert, 2019
Congratulations to Sam for her receipt of the 2019 ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Award for an outstanding junior.  Sam will be recognized at the Annual Banquet of the Northern West Virginia Section of the American Chemical Society on Wednesday, May 1 at the Bridgeport Conference Center, where she will present an invited poster presentation, receive a certificate from the Section and a gift certificate to ThinkGeek.com.  Sam will be gaining some practical lab experience in the Drug Chemistry Section of the New Jersey State Police this summer during her required internship.


SAM MEHNERT WINS ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIP FROM CBD-IAI. (MAR 2019)

Sam Mehnert, 2019
Congratulations to Sam for her receipt of the 2019 George H. Robinson Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship recognizes undergraduate students in forensic science and criminal justice. Sam will receive an academic scholarship in the amount of $1000 and a certificate of recognition. Her award will be presented at the Spring Educational Conferences of the Chesapeake Bay Division of the International Association for Identification ( CDB-IAI), which will be held in Morgantown on April 4-5, 2019. Sam recently presented her research on a new algorithm for drug identification using mass spectrometry at the at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) in Baltimore, MD in February. This story is also covered by WVU Today.

NEW REVIEW ARTICLE PUBLISHED (MAR 2019)

Congratulations to Mayara for her recent publication in Forensic Chemistry . Her review is titled "Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry in Forensic Science Applications" and contains exactly 300 citations. The article is available online and will appear in the next volume of Forensic Chemistry .
IRMS Review TOC Graphic

NEW LC-IRMS MANUSCRIPT PUBLISHED (OCT 2018)

Congratulations to Mayara for her recent publication ( PDF) in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry ( ABC). Her work, titled "Analysis of the 13C isotope ratios of amino acids in the larvae, pupae and adult stages of Calliphora vicina blow flies and their carrion food sources" is a collaboration with Dr. Rachel Mohr, a board certified entomologist and faculty member in Forensic and Investigative Science at WVU.

SPECTROSCOPY IN THE HOT SEAT (OCT 2018)

SciX 2018 t-shirt
This Analytical Scientist column offered readers an insider's view of what to look out for at SciX 2018 Conference in Atlanta, GA, Oct 21-26, 2018. As the co-chair for the mass spectrometry section, Dr. Jackson offered highlights of the five Mass Spectrometry sessions on offer at SciX. Dr. Jackson also serves as the Secretary of the FACSS Governing Board, which is responsible for organizing SciX conference each year. For the third year in a row, Dr. Jackson has also served as the FACSS photographer for SciX Conference. Video montages of the 2018 meeting can be found on the SciX 2018 GPJackson Youtube Channel. Videos of the separate days are here: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (Incl. Gala event), Thursday.

JACKSON GROUP RECEIVES TWO NEW NIJ GRANTS (SEPT 2018)

The Office of Justice programs just announced their 2018 grant recipients. In addition to several other successful grants by Profs. Trejos, Arroyo and Spier at WVU, the Jackson group will receive two new grants. One grant is titled "Structural Characterization of Emerging Synthetic Drugs." This project, in the amount of  $ 368K, is a collaboration with Professor Randall Clark and Jack DeRuiter at Auburn University. One of the aims of this project is to help practitioners understand the fragmentation patterns of existing cathinones (see spectrum below for example) and fentalogs so that they can more-readily identify emerging analogs. The second grant is titled "Investigating the Kinetic and Thermodynamic Approaches to Predict Evaporation of Gasoline at Elevated Temperatures for Fire Debris Applications" and is in the amount of amount of $467K. On the second grant, Jackson is a co-PI with Profs. Ruth Smith and Victoria McGuffin at Michigan State University. MDPV ESI-MS/MS spectrum

Dr. JACKSON RECEIVES BEST ORAL PRESENTATION AWARD AT ANZFSS MEETING (SEPT 2018)

At the 2018 meeting of the Australia New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS) meeting in Perth, Western Australia, Dr. Jackson received a "Best Oral Presentation" award in the topic area of illicit drugs and clandestine laboratories. The presentation covered the group's recent work on the mass spectral identification of cathinones. The work has now been funded by NIJ (see above).

Forensic Chemistry Cover for Tyler Davidson's article TYLER'S MANUSCRIPT FEATURED ON THE FRONT COVER OF FORENSIC CHEMISTRY (AUG 2018)

Tyler's article titled "Comparison of Measured and Recommended Acceptance Criteria for the Analysis of Seized Drugs using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)" was featured on the cover of Volume 10 of Forensic Chemistry (Aug 2018).

DR. JACKSON INTERVIEWED IN THE ANALYTICAL SCIENTIST (JULY 2018)

As part of the "Sitting down with..." series, Dr. Jackson was interviewed about his early career interests in analytical and forensic chemistry and his role as Co Editor-in-Chief of Forensic Chemistry. Full story.

Jackson Group News Archive