Chemistry and Biochemistry

Farnsworth Lab

Current Lab Members

Graduate Students

Wade Ellis, PhD student, Analytical Chemistry


B.S. Chemistry, Weber State University

I am developing new elemental analysis methods using ambient plasma discharges. I also am constructing a computer simulation of a plasma discharge to learn how to use it more effectively as an ionization source for mass spectrometry.

Jessica Larsen, MS student, Analytical Chemistry

B.S. Chemistry, Brigham Young University

My project investigates ion transport and matrix effects in an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer. We use planar laser induced fluorescence imaging inside a working instrument to get spatial information as well as the distribution of ion velocities.

Charlotte Lewis, MS student, Analytical Chemistry


B.S. Chemistry, Brigham Young University

My research project involves imaging mouse brains using desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) coupled to a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. With a diet of 5% deuterated water, the mice slowly incorporate the deuterium into their lipids. Using mass spectrometry, the lipid turnover rates can then be monitored as the isotope pattern changes with more deuterium incorporation.

Undergraduate Students

Daniel Thurston, Undergraduate

Chemistry and Spanish Studies, Brigham Young University

I use absorption imaging to measure the spatial distribution of helium metastable atoms in a miniature dielectric barrier discharge used as an ambient desorption/ionization source.

Mercede Erickson, Undergraduate

Biochemistry, Brigham Young University

I am currently working on the Desorption Electrospray Ionization (DESI) project, where DESI and a mass spectrometer are utilized to produce spatially regulated in vivo metabolic rates in brain tissues. Isotope ratios and metabolic rates of specific lipids are then analyzed for regioselectivity within the brain.