Jacob Shelley

Alan Paul Schulz Career Development Professor Of Chemistry


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.  During his undergraduate career, he was a summer intern at Los Alamos National Laboratory and worked on a number 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 molecular mass spectrometry.  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 Prof. Carsten Engelhard and Prof. Uwe Karst at the University of Münster in Germany.  In 2014, Jake started his independent academic career as an Assistant Professor at Kent State University.  In August, 2016, Jake became the Alan Paul Schulz Career Development Professor of Chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.  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.

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.  Specifically, his group approaches these tasks through developmentfundamental characterization, and application of instrumentation.  Currently, Prof. Shelley’s group is aiming to expand the capabilities of ambient mass spectrometry through added dimensionality of analysis without compromising the speed of the analysis.  The goal is to develop an ionization source, which operates at atmospheric pressure that can provide molecular, structural, and atomic information of species present on a sample surface. Overall, this research addresses a major focus of modern analytical chemistry – rapid, in situ detection of relevant compounds without the need for sample modification or a priori information of sample constituents.  Such methods of analysis are needed in a wide range of areas including homeland security, drug development and production, chemical synthesis, and environmental analyses.

Education & Training

B.S., Northern Arizona University, 2005

Ph.D., Indiana University, 2011

Postdoctoral Researcher, Purdue University, 2011-2012

Alexander von Humboldt Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Münster, 2012-2014

Other affililations: Rensselaer Astrobiology Research and Education Center, Earth and Environmental Sciences


Other Focus Areas

Mass Spectrometry, Chemical Instrumentation, Glow Discharges and Analytical Plasmas, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Astrobiology, Physical and Inorganic Chemistry


The following is a selection of recent publications in Scopus. Jacob Shelley has 50 indexed publications in the subjects of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, Medicine.

Yi You, Julia L. Danischewski, Brian T. Molnar, Jens Riedel, Jacob T. Shelley
Journal of the American Chemical Society
, 146
, 2024
, pp.14587-14592
Eyosias L. Ashenafi, Marianne C. Nyman, Jacob T. Shelley, Neil S. Mattson
Food Chemistry Advances
, 2
, 2023
George C.Y. Chan, Carsten Engelhard, Joshua S. Wiley, Ayanna U. Shoulds, R. Graham Cooks, Gary M. Hieftje, Jacob T. Shelley
Applied Spectroscopy
, 77
, 2023
, pp.940-956
Ifeoluwa Ayodeji, Alexandra Keidel, Nelson Perdomo, Jacob Shelley, Theresa Evans-Nguyen
International Journal of Mass Spectrometry
, 472
, 2022
Brian T. Molnar, Jacob T. Shelley
Mass Spectrometry Reviews
, 40
, 2021
, pp.609-627
Courtney L. Walton, Andrew J. Schwartz, Jacob T. Shelley
Journal of Applied Physics
, 130
, 2021
Yi You, Linxia Song, Montwaun D. Young, Matthew Van Der Wielen, Theresa Evans-Nguyen, Jens Riedel, Jacob T. Shelley
Analytical Chemistry
, 93
, 2021
, pp.5009-5014
Sunil P. Badal, Paul B. Farnsworth, George C.Y. Chan, Brian T. Molnar, Jessica R. Hellinger, Jacob T. Shelley
Spectrochimica Acta - Part B Atomic Spectroscopy
, 176
, 2021
Sanja Dmitrovic, Brian Molnar, Young Sik Kim, David Schumann, James Foley, Jacob T. Shelley, Tom D. Milster
Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
, 11655
, 2021
Shankar Pandey, Yuanyuan Li, Montwaun D. Young, Shankar Mandal, Laichun Lu, Jacob T. Shelley, Hanbin Mao
, 59
, 2020
, pp.3438-3446

View All Scopus Publications


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