Jacob T. Shelley Research Group

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180 USA
Phone: (518) 276 - 3381

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Jacob Shelley'

Prof. Jacob T. Shelley

Alan Paul Schulz Career Development Professor of Chemistry

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Cogswell Laboratory, Room 228
110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180 USA

Phone: (518) 276-8173

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          Jacob Shelley was born in Albuquerque, NM in 1984. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ in 2005. His research at NAU, while working under Prof. Diane Stearns, was focused on examining metal-DNA adducts with ICP-AES. He worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory for four summers on a wide range of projects including metallomics with X-ray fluorescence detection, developing nanoporous silica substrates for matrix-free MALDI, and method development for detecting a wide range of radioactive materials. He completed his Ph. D. at Indiana University under Prof. Gary Hieftje in 2011 where his research focus was on the development, characterization, and application of novel plasma ionization sources for ambient, molecular mass spectrometry with particular attention on the Flowing Atmospheric-Pressure Afterglow (FAPA) source. Jake started his postdoctoral research with Prof. R. Graham Cooks at Purdue University 2011 where he developed portable mass spectrometers capable of in situ analyses. In 2012, Jake was awarded a prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Post-Doctoral Fellowship to work with Dr. Carsten Engelhard at the University of Münster in Germany. In 2014, Jake became an Assistant Professor at Kent State University specializing in fundamental characterization of plasma-based ionization methods for mass spectrometry. In August, 2016, Jake became the Alan Paul Schulz Career Development Professor of Chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.

          Prof. Shelley’s current research interests lie in the development of new hardware and software tools for mass spectrometry, which enable rapid and sensitive detection and identification of analytes in complex matrices. In one example, his group has used a glow discharge sustained on a liquid surface, the solution-cathode glow discharge (SCGD), as an ionization source for mass spectrometry. They have demonstrated that the SCGD can produce bare elemental ions as well as intact molecular ions of labile peptides. Furthermore, molecular ions can be tunably fragmented through simple adjustment of the discharge power. Prof. Shelley has authored 35 published journal articles, 3 United States patents/patent applications, a book chapter, and has given more than 30 invited presentations at national and international venues.


  • Aug. 25, 2016: New Shelley Group publication in J. Inorg. Biochem. !
  • Aug. 16, 2016: Prof. Jake Shelley moves to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • July 13, 2016: Sunil Badal successfully passes written and oral candidacy exams at Kent State University
  • June 22, 2016: New Shelley Group publication in Chemical Science !