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Kevin Owens, PhD

Kevin G. Owens, PhD

Associate Professor
Chair, Faculty Senate
Department of Chemistry
Office: Stratton Hall 415
Phone: 215.895.2621
Fax: 215.895.2621

Additional Sites:

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NIH Biosketch – My NCBI ScienCV
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  • PhD, Indiana University, 1989
  • BS, University of New Hampshire, 1982

Curriculum Vitae:

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Research Interests:

  • analytical chemistry
  • mass spectrometry
  • analytical method development
  • time-of-flight mass spectrometry
  • analytical instrument development
  • matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization
  • imaging mass spectrometry
  • micro-organism identification by mass spectrometry
  • chemometrics
  • correlation analysis


I am an analytical chemist deeply trained in the areas of mass spectrometry and laser spectroscopy.

My research group at Drexel has focused on improving three broad areas in the analysis of biological and synthetic polymer systems using mass spectrometry: 1) understanding fundamentals of the matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) process; 2) development of improved time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS) instrumentation; and 3) development of chemometric methods, particularly correlation analysis techniques, for the automated analysis of mass spectral information.

Early success included development of the electrospray deposition technique as a means to prepare samples for quantitative analysis via MALDI. Our most recent efforts have focused on: 1) development of improved methods for the application of matrix for MALDI mass spectral imaging experiments; and 2) the development of improved methods for the identification of micro-organisms at the strain level using mass spectrometry (using both MALDI and high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization (ESI)-mass spectrometry).

Our latest chemometrics work involves development of 2-dimensional correlation analysis techniques to enable the strain-level identification of micro-organisms.

Selected Publications:

  • Andrew J. Hoteling, Michelle Piotrowski, Kevin G. Owens*, “The Cationization of Synthetic Polymers in MALDI TOFMS: Investigations of the Salt-to-Analyte Ratio”, Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom., 34, (S2), e8630, 2020,
  • Michelle Piotrowski, Brian Malys, Kevin G. Owens*, “A Method for Defining Initial Ion Position in a MALDI TOFMS by Analysis of the Laser Image on the Sample Surface”, J. Amer. Soc. Mass Spectrom., 30(3), 489-500, 2019,
  • Cathy Muste, Kevin G. Owens*, “Cell-Free Identification of S. Cerevisiae Strains by Analysis of Supernatant using LC/MS”, J. Amer. Soc. Mass Spectrom., 29(11), 2260-7, 2018,
  • Elsa Gorre, Cathy Muste, Kevin G. Owens*, “Introducing a Cell-Free Approach for the Identification of Brewing Yeast Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Strains using MALDI TOF MS”, J. Amer. Soc. Mass Spectrom., 29(11), 2248-59, 2018,
  • Brian Malys, Michelle Piotrowski, Kevin G. Owens*, “Diagnosing and Correcting Mass Accuracy and Signal Intensity Error Due to Initial Ion Position Variations in a MALDI TOFMS”, J. Amer. Soc. Mass Spectrom., 29(2), 422–434, 2018,
  • Brian Malys, Kevin G. Owens*, “Improving the Analyte Ion Signal in Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Imaging Mass Spectrometry via Electrospray Deposition by Enhancing Incorporation of the Analyte in the Matrix”, Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom., 31(9) 804-12, 2017,
  • Elsa Gorre, Kevin G. Owens*, “Microscale Solubility Measurements of MALDI Matrices Using ATR FT-IR Absorption Spectroscopy Coupled with PLS Analysis”, Applied Spectroscopy, 70(11), 1831–1841, 2016,
  • Andrew J. Hoteling, William J. Erb, Robert J. Tyson, III and Kevin G. Owens*, “Exploring the Importance of the Relative Solubility of Matrix and Analyte in MALDI Sample Preparation using HPLC”, Analytical Chemistry, 76(17), 5157-5164, 2004. DOI:
  • Russell R. Hensel, Richard C. King, Kevin G. Owens*, “Electrospray Sample Preparation for Improved Quantitation in Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry", Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom., 11(16), 1785-93, 1997. DOI: RCM78%3E3.0.CO;2-Q
  • K.G. Owens*, "Application of Correlation Analysis Techniques to Mass Spectral Data", Applied Spectroscopy Reviews, 27(1), 1-49, 1992. DOI:

Academic Details:

Graduate Program Faculty Member

*Only Graduate Program Faculty members can mentor graduate students