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Kevin Schug

Kevin Schug

Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry

Office: 358 Chemistry and Physics Building (CPB)
Phone: 817-272-3541
Research Page
Mentis Profile

College of William and Mary, 1998
Ph.D. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2002 (Harold M. McNair)
Post Doctorate: University of Vienna, 2003-2005 (Wolfgang Lindner)

Mixtures of bioactive chemical compounds require high efficiency separations and mass spectrometry techniques for their careful characterization. Our laboratory has become particularly adept at the development of methods for quantitative analysis of small and large molecules present in trace quantities in biological fluids. With this ability, we can provide strong support of pharmaceutical, preclinical, and clinical research. We are also currently undertaking one of the most extensive investigations of the potential impact of industrial processes, such as unconventional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, on our environment. This includes a large focus on groundwater quality. In our group, we strive to use the complete analytical chemistry toolbox to solve problems, including state-of-the-art sample preparation, gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry techniques. We are interested in both fundamental and applied research problems. We work in close collaboration with many influential industry and academic partners to ensure our research is timely and relevant to today’s needs and issues. Some specific topics of current research include development and application of:

• An integrated instrument for simultaneous determination of small and large molecules from complex samples featuring multidimensional liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry;

• restricted access media for on-line sample preparation;

• methods for evaluation of the potential impact of unconventional drilling processes on groundwater quality;

• technologies for remediation of waste water; and the characterization thereof;

• novel methods for antibacterial drug discovery, especially materials and mass spectrometric methods to stream-line discovery work-flows;

• a new gas chromatography – vacuum ultraviolet absorption detection system;

• higher order tandem mass spectrometry for the differentiation and elucidation of isomeric natural products and chemical degradation mechanisms.


Kevin A. Schug is Professor and Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). He is also Director of the Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation (CLEAR; at UTA.

Dr. Schug received his B.S. degree in Chemistry in 1998 from the College of William and Mary, and his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Virginia Tech in 2002 under the supervision of Prof. Harold M. McNair. From 2003-2005, he performed post-doctoral research in the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Lindner at the University of Vienna in Austria.

Since joining UTA in 2005, his research has been focused on the theory and application of separation science and mass spectrometry for solving a variety of analytical and physical chemistry problems. Two main research threads are currently pursued with some intertwined aspects: 1) Fundamental studies of chromatographic separations and mass spectrometry ionization mechanisms; and 2) isolation, characterization, and trace analysis of bioactive compounds in complex matrices. His group is also active in chemical education research. Financial support for chemistry and educational research has been from UTA, Eli Lilly and Company, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, Inc., Restek Corporation, VUV Analytics, Inc., and other industry partners. He has over 160 peer-reviewed publications and over 400 presentations, posters, and invited talks to his group’s credit. From 2005 – 2018, he has been PI or co-PI on over $7 Million in external grant support, contracts, and awards; he has further contributed to capturing $17.8-Million in development support, which have been used to create the Shimadzu Center for Advanced Analytical Chemistry ( and the Shimadzu Institute for Research Technologies ( at UTA.

Dr. Schug is Founder and Director of a K-12 science outreach program Diversity in Science in the United States ( He is the institutional founder and steering committee member for CIRTL UTA, an affiliate of the nationwide Center for Integration of Research Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) preparing future faculty program. He was a project leader in UTA’s National Science Foundation STEM Talent Expansion Program (STEP), which focused on efforts to improve retention and graduation rates of STEM students ( Through these and other current efforts, Dr. Schug has had experience innovating at virtually every level of the U.S. STEM education system.

Dr. Schug has received the 2009 Emerging Leader in Chromatography award given by LCGC magazine, an NSF CAREER award, the 2009 Eli Lilly and Company ACACC Young Investigator Award in Analytical Chemistry, and the 2013 American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry Young Investigator in Separation Science Award. For his teaching, he received the 2014 University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, was named in 2016 a Fellow of the University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers, and in 2018 a Fellow of the University of Texas at Arlington Academy of Distinguished Teachers. He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of LCGC Magazine (UBM), Analytica Chimica Acta (Elsevier), Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (Springer), and Cannabis Science and Technology (UBM). He is a Senior Editor for Journal of Separation Science (Wiley). Since 2013, he has written a regular blog for LCGC On-line ( on various aspects of separation science, which is promoted and subscribed to across the world.

Liden, T.; Carlton Jr., D.D.; Miyazaki, S.; Otoyo, T.; Schug, K.A. Forward Osmosis Remediation of High Salinity Permian Basin Produced Water from Unconventional Oil and Gas Development. Sci. Tot. Environ. 2019, 653, 82-90.

Bai, L., Carlton Jr., D.D.;Schug, K.A. Complex mixture quantification without calibration using gas chromatography and a comprehensive carbon reactor in conjunction with flame ionization detection. J. Sep. Sci. 2018, 41, 4031-4037.

Baghdady, Y.Z.; Schug, K.A. A Novel diagnostic in situ derivatization kit for the simultaneous determination of 14 biomarkers of exposure to Benzene, Toluene, Ethyl Benzene and Xylenes in human urine by isotope dilution liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry and kit optimization using response surface methodology. Anal. Chim. Acta 2018, 1036, 195-203.

Liden, T.L.; Santos, I.C.; Hildenbrand, Z.L.; Schug, K.A. Treatment Modalities for the Reuse of Produced Waste from Oil and Gas Development. Sci. Tot. Environ. 2018, 643, 107-118.

Appulage, D.K.; Wang, E.H.; Figard, B.J.; Schug, K.A. An Integrated Multipath Liquid Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry System for Simultaneous Preparation, Separation, and Detection of Proteins and Small Molecules. J. Sep. Sci. 2018, 41, 2702-2709.

Wicker, A.P.; Carlton Jr., D.D.; Tanaka, K.; Nishimura, M.; Chen, V.; Ogura, T.; Hedgepeth, W.; Schug, K.A. On-line supercritical fluid extraction – supercritical fluid chromatography - mass spectrometry of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soil. J. Chromatogr. B 2018, 1086, 82-88.

Hildenbrand, Z.L.; Santos, I.C.; Liden, T.; Carlton Jr., D.D.; Varona-Torres, E.; Martin, M.S.; Reyes, M.L.; Mulla, S.R.; Schug, K.A.* Characterizing variable biogeochemical changes during the treatment of produced oilfield waste. Sci. Tot. Environ. 2018, 634, 1519-1529.

Varona-Torres, E.; Carlton Jr., D.D.; Hildenbrand, Z.L.; Schug, K.A. Matrix-effect-free determination of BTEX in variable soil compositions using room temperature ionic liquid co-solvents in static headspace gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Anal. Chim. Acta 2018, 1021, 41-50.

Leghissa, A.; Hildenbrand, Z.L.; Foss Jr., F.W.; Schug, K.A. Determination of cannabinoids from a surrogate hops matrix using multiple reaction monitoring gas chromatography – triple quadrupole – mass spectrometry. J. Sep. Sci. 2018, 41, 459-468.

Martin, M.S.; Santos, I.C.; Carlton Jr., D.D.; Stigler-Granados, P.; Hildenbrand, Z.L.; Schug, K.A. Characterization of Bacterial Diversity in Contaminated Groundwater using Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/ Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry. Sci. Tot. Environ. 2018, 622-623, 1562-1571.

Schenk, J.; Mao, X.; Smuts, J.; Walsh, P.; Kroll, P.; Schug, K.A. Analysis and Deconvolution of Dimethylnaphthalene Isomers Using Gas Chromatography Vacuum Ultraviolet Spectroscopy and Theoretical Computations. Anal. Chim. Acta 2016, 945, 1-8. -- Featured Article; Journal Cover --

Wang, E.H.; Combe, P.C.; Schug, K.A. Multiple Reaction Monitoring for Direct Quantitation of Intact Proteins using a Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer. J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 2016, 27, 886-896.

Schug, K.A.; Sawicki, I.; Carlton Jr., D.D.; Fan, H.; McNair, H.M.; Nimmo, J.P.; Kroll, P.; Smuts, J.; Walsh, P.; Harrison, D. A Vacuum Ultraviolet Detector for Gas Chromatography. Anal. Chem. 2014, 86, 8329-8335.

Fontenot, B.E.; Hunt, L.R.; Hildenbrand, Z.L.; Carlton Jr., D.D.; Oka, H.; Walton, J.L.; Hopkins, D.; Osorio, A.; Bjorndal, B.; Hu, Q.; Schug, K.A. An evaluation of water quality in private drinking water wells near natural gas extraction sites in the Barnett Shale Formation. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2013, 47, 10032-10040.

Yang, S.H.; Wang, E.H.; Gurak, J.A.; Bhawal, S.; Deshmukh, R.; Wijeratne, A.B.; Edwards, B.L.; Foss Jr., F.W.;* Timmons, R.B.; Schug, K.A. Affinity Mesh Screen Materials for Selective Extraction and Analysis of Antibiotics using Transmission Mode Desorption Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry. Langmuir 2013, 29, 8046-8053.

Fryčák, P.; Schug, K.A. Dynamic Titration: Determination of Dissociation Constants for Noncovalent Complexes in Multiplexed Format Using HPLC-ESI-MS. (Accelerated Article) Anal. Chem. 2008, 80, 1385-1393.

2009, Emerging Leader in Chromatography Award (sponsored by LCGC Magazine)

2009, Eli Lilly and Company Young Investigator Award in Analytical Chemistry

2009 - 2014, National Science Foundation CAREER Award

2010, U.T. Arlington, College of Science Research Excellence Award

2010, Outstanding Mentor Award, Sigma Xi Honor Society (U.T. Arlington chapter)

2011, Outstanding Mentor Award, Sigma Xi Honor Society (U.T. Arlington chapter)

2012, Outstanding Mentor Award, Sigma Xi Honor Society (U.T. Arlington chapter)

2013, Outstanding Mentor Award, Sigma Xi Honor Society (U.T. Arlington chapter)

2013, American Chemical Society, Division of Analytical Chemistry Young Investigator in Separation Science Award

2014, Outstanding Reviewer of the Year, Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry

2014, U.T. Arlington College of Science Teaching Excellence Award

2014, University of Texas System Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Award

2014, Top 40 Under 40 Power List, The Analytical Scientist(

2014, Palacky University (Olomouc, CZ) Silver Medal, for international collaboration

2015, Outstanding Mentor Award, Sigma Xi Honor Society (U.T. Arlington chapter)

2015, U.T. Arlington Faculty Development Leave Award (University of Messina, Sicily)

2016, Fellow, The University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers

2016, Tech Titans Future University Award (w/ Prof. Mydlarz for ASSURE Program)

2017, J. Calvin Giddings Award for Excellence in Education, American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry

2017, Outstanding Mentor Award, Sigma Xi Honor Society (U.T. Arlington chapter)

2017, President’s Inaugural Innovative Teaching Award (U.T. Arlington), w/ Prof. Foss for ACT Program

2018, Fellow, U.T. Arlington Academy of Distinguished Teachers