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The Jackson Group
Department of Forensic and Investigative Science


Faculty Member


Ming Hsieh (Shay) Distinguished Professor

Dept. of Forensic & Investigative Science & C. Eugene Bennett Dept. of Chemistry

Hometown: Coventry, England, United Kingdom

Ph.D., Analytical Chemistry, West Virginia University, 2002
M.S., Analytical Chemistry, Ohio University, 1998
B.Sc. (Hons), Chemical and Analytical Science, University of Wales Swansea, 1998 

Graduate Students


4th year graduate student (Ph.D. Biology, Sept 2013-present) 

Current research project: Forensic applications of IRMS; human hair, oysters and blowfies

Hometown: Fortaleza, Brazil

M.S. Biochemistry, Federal University of Ceara, Brazil, 2013
B.S. Biological Science and Teaching Biology, Federal University of Ceara, Brazil, 2011 


3rd year graduate student (M.S. Chemistry, Sept 2014-present) 

Current research project: Miniature Loeb-Eiber mass filter project

Hometown: Granville, OH

B.S. Analytical Chemistry, Appalachian State University, 2014


2nd year graduate student (Ph.D. Chemistry, Sept 2016-present) 

Current research project: Miniature Loeb-Eiber mass filter project

Hometown: League City, TX

B.S. Chemistry, University North Texas, 2016


2nd year graduate student (Ph.D. Chemistry, Sept 2016-present) 

Current research project: Charge Transfer Dissociation Mass Spectrometry (CTD-MS)

Hometown: Ja-Ela, Sri Lanka

B.S. Pharmacy, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2016


2nd year graduate student (Ph.D. Chemistry, Sept 2016-present) 

Current research project: Forensic applications of IRMS


B.S. Chemistry, 2016 


1st year PhD student in FIS 

Current research project: GC/MS and Fast GC/MS of phenethylamines and the uncertainty in GC/MS measurements

Hometown: New Cumberland, PA

B.S. Chemistry, Shippensburg University, PA, 2015

M.S. Forensic & Investigative Science, WVU, 2017


2nd year MS student in FIS
Current research project: Total return on Investment (ROI) analysis for on-site drug analysis using portable chemical instrumentation

Hometown: WV

Previous Members


William (Billy) D. Hoffmann

Billy is now an Assistant Professor at Texas State University


Ashley Cochran (M.S. FIS, Sept 2015-May 2017)

Ashley is employed at RTI in Raleigh, NC. 

Pengfei Li (Ph.D. Chemistry, Sept 2012-May 2017)

Pengfei is a Mass Spectrometrist in the School of Chemical Sciences at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, IL.

Feng Jin (Ph.D. Chemistry, Sept 2009-Dec 2014)

Feng is currently a Scientist in the Metabolomics Core at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston,TX.

Kateryna Konstantynova (Sept 2012-Aug 2014)

Katya is working on her Ph.D. at U. Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Robert (Bobby) Deimler (Ph.D. Chemistry, WVU, Sept 2009-May 2014)

Bobby is a quality control chemist at PremierTox.

Yan An (Ph.D. Chemistry, Ohio U, Sept 2008-May 2013)

Yan is works as a research scientist at Baxter, a global healthcare and pharmaceutical supplier.

Mengliang Zhang (Ph.D. Chemistry, Ohio U, Sept 2010-Nov 2014)

Mengliang is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Middle Tennessee State University.

Ayat Bani-Rashaid (Ph.D. Chemistry, Ohio U, Sept 2010-July 2014)

Completed two years of research with Dr. Jackson on clinical and forensic biomarkers in human hair. Ayat joined Dr. Harrington’s group in the fall of 2012 when the group moved to WVU.

Shannon L. Cook (Ph.D. Chemistry, Ohio U, Sept 2006-April 2011)

Shannon worked for several years as an LCMS senior product specialist with Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, Inc.

Carolyn M. Zimmermann (Ph.D. Chemistry, Ohio U, Sept 2005-April 2010)

Carolyn was a Postdoctoral Researcher the Department of Proteomics at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in the Leipzig, Germany.

Zeland Schwartz (nee Muccio) (Ph.D. Chemistry, Ohio U, Sept 2006-Jan 2010)

Zeland is currently a Forensic Strategic Business Manager at NMS Labs. Before that, she was a research fellow with Prof. Jeffrey Supko at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and an isotope ratio sales specialist at Elementar.

Derrell L. Hood (M.S. Chemistry, Ohio U, Sept 2007-Aug 2009)

Derrell is currently a high school science teacher at Westminster Academy in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Ünige A. Laskay (Ph.D. Chemistry, Ohio U, Sept 2004-Dec 2008)

Ünige is an analytical chemist at SICPA in Switzerland, which specializes in secured identification, traceability and authentication solutions using inks and dyes. Before this, she was a postdoctoral researcher with Yury Tsybin at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland. Before that, Üni spent two years as a postdoc with Dr. V. Wysocki at U. Arizona.

Olivier L. Collin (Ph.D. Chemistry, Ohio U, Sept 2004-Dec 2007)

Olivier is currently an LC/MS field service engineer with Thermo Fisher Scientific in Canada.


Dr. David Ropartz

(Visiting Scientist, INRA, France)

Madlen Sander

(visiting scholar, U of Leipzig, April-June 2012)

Claudia Wöckel

(visiting scholar, U of Leipzig, April-June 2009)

Matthias Beier

(visiting scholar, U of Leipzig, April-July 2006)

Claudia Niegel

(visiting scholar, U of Leipzig, April-July 2005)


(Parentheses show undergraduates research dates)

Sarah Chaffman

Undergraduate Researcher (Summer 2017)

Isaac Willis

Undergraduate Researcher (Summer 2017)

Emily Gleco

Undergraduate Researcher (Summer 2017)

Gabriel Walkup (B.S. Chemistry May 2017)

Undergraduate Researcher (June 2016-May 2017)

Tyler Williams (B.S. Chemistry May 2016)

Undergraduate Researcher (June 2015-May 2016)

Tyler is pursuing a PhD with Ken Marcus at Clemson University.

Sierra Stinson

Undergraduate Researcher (Summer 2016)

Olivia Dodd

Undergraduate Researcher (Sept 2015-May 2016)

Heather Birks (B.S. FIS May 2015)

Undergraduate Researcher (Sept 2014-May 2015)

Heather is pursuing an MS in Forensic Science at VCU

Ashley Cochran (B.S. FIS May 2015, M.S. FIS May 2017)

Undergraduate Researcher (Sept 2014-May 2015)

MS Researcher (Sept 2015-May 2017)

Clayton Johnson (B.S. Jan 2014-Dec 2014)

Clayton will be pursuing a Ph.D. at Notre Dame U. starting 2015.

Ashley March (B.S. Mar 2010-May 2011)

Ashley is currently in the analytical lab at Abbott Nutrition. Her undergraduate research on the ICP-MS analysis of metals in human hair is helping her with the installation of a new ICP-MS in their labs at Abbott.

Daniel Cobau (B.S. Jun 2009-May 2011)

Dan is currently pursuing his DO in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at Ohio University.

Christine Fisher (B.S. Jun 2008-May 2010)

Christine is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at Purdue University under the supervision of Prof. Scott McLuckey.

Samantha Blake (B.S. Sep 2009-May 2010)

Sam completed her M.S. in chemistry at North Carolina State University and is pursuing her State Agent training in North Carolina.

Mark Barkett (B.S. Sep 2009-May 2010)

Mark works in the analytical labs at Dover Chemical Company in Ohio.

Megan Wenning (B.S. Jan 2007-May 2009)

Megan is currently working in the DNA section of BCII (Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification), Columbus, OH.

Lisa Lojek (B.S. Jan 2007-May 2009)

Christopher Kanalas (B.S. Sept 2006-May 2008)

Jen Hyland (B.S. Sept 2004-May 2006)

Jen obtained her MS in chemistry from U. Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2008 and now works for a small R&D company in IL.

Kate DeRhodes (B.S. Sept 2004-May 2006)

Brad Nichol (B.S. Jan-March 2006)

Aaron Jarrel (B.S. Jan-March 2006)

Aaron worked for Metler-Toledo before joining Metrohm.