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The Jackson Group
Department of Forensic and Investigative Science


Principal Investigator/Faculty Member


Ming Hsieh (Shay) Distinguished Professor

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

Hometown: Coventry, England, United Kingdom

PhD Analytical Chemistry, West Virginia University, 2002
MS Analytical Chemistry, Ohio University, 1998
BSc (Hons) Chemical and Analytical Science, University of Wales Swansea, 1998 

Graduate Students


4th year graduate student (PhD Chemistry, Aug 2016-present) 

Current research project:  Fundamentals and Applications of  Charge Transfer Dissociation Mass Spectrometry (CTD-MS). 

Funded by NSF CHE 1710376  NSF logo

Hometown: League City, TX

BS Chemistry, University North Texas, 2016


4th year graduate student (PhD Chemistry, Aug 2016-present) 

Current research project: On-line UHPLC Charge Transfer Dissociation Mass Spectrometry (CTD-MS) of complex mixtures of oligosaccharides. 

Funded by NIH R01GM114494  NIH & NIGMS logos

Hometown: Ja-Ela, Sri Lanka

BS Pharmacy, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2016


4th year graduate student (PhD Chemistry, Aug 2016-present) 

Current research project: Unique Biological Applications of  Charge Transfer Dissociation Mass Spectrometry (CTD-MS). 

Funded by NSF CHE 1710376  NSF logo

Hometown: Roanoke, VA

BS Chemistry, 2016 

Tyler Davidson J. TYLER DAVIDSON

3rd year graduate student (PhD FIS, Aug 2016-present)

Current research projects: GC/MS and Fast GC/MS of phenethylamines, acceptance criteria for the identification of drugs using GC/EI-MS, and the identification of cathinones using tandem mass spectrometry.

Funded by NIJ 2018-75-CX-0033  NIJ logo

Hometown: New Cumberland, PA

BS Chemistry, Shippensburg University, PA, 2015

MS Forensic & Investigative Science, WVU, 2017


2nd year graduate student (MS FIS, Aug 2018-present)

Funded by NIJ 2018-DU-BX-0225
NIJ logo 

Hometown: Erie, PA

BS Applied Forensic Science with a concentration in Forensic Chemistry, Mercyhurst University, PA, 2018


1st year graduate student (MS FIS, Aug 2019-present)

Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA

BS Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry and Minor in Forensic Science, George Mason University, 2019


1st year graduate student (MS FIS, Aug 2019-present)

Hometown: Port Harcourt, Nigeria

BS Biochemistry, Harding University, 2018

Undergraduate Students

Sam Mehnert 2019 SAM MEHNERT

Undergraduate Student in FIS (Summer 2018 (SURE)-present)
Winner of the 2019 George H. Robinson Memorial Scholarship from the CBD-IAI. 
Winner of the 2019 ACS Analytical Chemistry Award (to an outstanding Junior).
Winner of the 2019 EAS Student Research Award.

Current research project: A new algorithm for mass spectral comparisons. 

Research project funded by NIJ 2018-75-CX-0033  NIJ logo


Undergraduate Researcher in Chemistry (Fall 2019)

Hometown: Clio, MI


Undergraduate Researcher in Chemistry (Fall 2019)

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Previous Members


Dr. William (Billy) D. Hoffmann

Billy is now an Assistant Professor at Texas State University


Thomas M. Hakey (Chemistry Jun 2018-July 2019)

Dr. Mayara P. V. de Matos (PhD Biology, Aug 2014-May 2019)

Mayara is currently pursuing a postdoctoral appointment at the FDA in College Park, MD.

Taylor Krivenki (Sept 2014-Jun 2018)

Korina Menking-Hoggatt (MS FIS, Sept 2015-Dec 2017)

Korina is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in FIS with Prof. Trejos at WVU.

Ashley Cochran (MS FIS, Sept 2015-May 2017)

Ashley is currently working as a Crime Scene Investigator at Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau of Identification. Before that, she was a forensic scientist at RTI in Raleigh, NC.

Dr. Pengfei Li (PhD Chemistry, Sept 2012-May 2017)

Pengfei worked at a Mass Spectrometrist in the School of Chemical Sciences at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, IL before returning to China.

Dr. Feng Jin (PhD Chemistry, Sept 2009-Dec 2014)

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

Kateryna I. Konstantynova (Sept 2012-Aug 2014)

Katya earned an MS degree at U. Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Dr. Robert (Bobby) E. Deimler (PhD Chemistry, WVU, Sept 2009-May 2014)

Bobby is a quality control chemist at PremierTox.

Dr. Yan An (PhD Chemistry, Ohio U, Sept 2008-May 2013)

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

Dr. Mengliang Zhang (PhD Chemistry, Ohio U, Sept 2010-Nov 2014)

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

Dr. Ayat Bani-Rashaid (PhD Chemistry, Ohio U, Sept 2010-July 2014)

Ayat 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. She is currently an assistant professor of chemistry at Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordan.

Dr. Shannon L. Cook (PhD Chemistry, Ohio U, Sept 2006-April 2011)

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

Dr. Carolyn M. Friedrich (nee Zimmermann) (PhD Chemistry, Ohio U, Sept 2005-April 2010)

Carolyn is a partner and lab director for a medical marijuana lab in Streetsboro Ohio. Previously, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher the Department of Proteomics at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in the Leipzig, Germany. 

Dr. Zeland Schwartz (nee Muccio) (PhD 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 (MS Chemistry, Ohio U, Sept 2007-Aug 2009)

Derrell currently serves in the US Air Force.

Dr. Ünige A. Laskay (PhD 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.

Dr. Olivier L. Collin (PhD Chemistry, Ohio U, Sept 2004-Dec 2007)

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


Dr. Zilin Fan

Visiting Scientist, Tianjin Fire Research Institute of MPS, China, Mar-Dec 2018   

Dr. David Ropartz

Visiting Scientist, INRA, France, Aug 2016

Iris Kreft

Visiting Scholar, U Avans, Sept 2015-Feb 2016

Madlen Sander

Visiting Scholar, U of Leipzig, Apr-Jun 2012

Claudia Wöckel

Visiting Scholar, U of Leipzig, Apr-June 2009

Matthias Beier

Visiting Scholar, U of Leipzig, Apr-Jul 2006

Claudia Niegel

(visiting scholar, U of Leipzig, Apr-Jul 2005


(Parentheses show undergraduates research dates)

Sarah Chaffman (BS Chemistry May 2019)

Undergraduate Researcher (June 2016-May 2019)

Brandon Lowe

Undergraduate researcher (REU) (summer 2018)

Emily Gleco

Undergraduate Researcher (REU) (Summer 2017)

Gabriel Walkup (BS Chemistry May 2017)

Undergraduate Researcher (June 2016-May 2017)

Tyler Williams (BS Chemistry May 2016)

Undergraduate Researcher (June 2015-May 2016)

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

Sierra Stinson

Undergraduate Researcher (REU) (Summer 2016)

Olivia Dodd (BS FIS May 2016)

Undergraduate Researcher (Sept 2015-May 2016)

Heather Birks (BS FIS May 2015)

Undergraduate Researcher (Sept 2014-May 2015)

Heather completed an MS in Forensic Science at VCU.

Ashley Cochran (BS FIS May 2015, MS FIS May 2017)

Undergraduate Researcher (Sept 2014-May 2015)

MS Researcher (Sept 2015-May 2017).  Ashley worked as a forensic scientist at RTI in Raleigh, NC before becoming a Crime Scene Investigator with the Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau of Identification.

Clayton Johnson (BS Jan 2014-Dec 2014)

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

Ashley March (BS Mar 2010-May 2011)

Ashley is a forensic scientist in Indiana.

Daniel Cobau (BS Jun 2009-May 2011)

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

Christine Fisher (BS Jun 2008-May 2010)

Christine completed her Ph.D. at Purdue University under the supervision of Prof. Scott McLuckey before joining the FDA, where she is now a staff fellow. 

Samantha Blake (BS 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 (BS Sep 2009-May 2010)

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

Megan Wenning (BS Jan 2007-May 2009)

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

Lisa Lojek (BS Jan 2007-May 2009)

Christopher Kanalas (BS Sept 2006-May 2008)

Jen Hyland (BS 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 (BS Sept 2004-May 2006)

Brad Nichol (BS Jan-March 2006)

Aaron Jarrel (BS Jan-March 2006)

Aaron worked for Metler-Toledo before joining Metrohm.