Indiana University Bloomington Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington

Faculty + Research

Jonathan Karty

Senior Scientist


Chem 125E

Mass Spectrometry Facility



Jonathan Karty is the Assistant Chair for Administration and Director of Technical Services for the Chemistry Department

Jonathan received his B.S. degree in Chemistry at Purdue University in 1996. While there he studied photocatalysis on solid titania by solid-state NMR with Professor M. Daniel Raftery. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Analytical Chemistry in 2004 here at IU under the direction of Professor James Reilly. While working with Dr. Reilly, Jon elucidated the proteins constituting the stalk assembly of Caulobacter crescentus (in collaboration with Prof. Yves Brun in Biology), assisted in developing a software package to incorporate the sequence information obtained from guanidination of lysine residues to interpret peptide mass fingerprint data, and constructed a two-dimensional liquid chromatograph for separating complex mixtures prior to QTOF MS. Jon considers himself a “mass spectrometry generalist” and his expertise includes gas chromatography (GC), liquid chromatography (LC), thermal desorption, headspace inlets, and solid targets connected to electron impact (EI), electrospray (ESI), atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI), and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) sources to make ions analyzed by magnetic sector, time-of-flight (TOF), quadrupole, and orbitrap mass analyzers. He has also performed tandem mass spectrometry with triple quadrupole, ion trap, QTOF, tandem TOF, and q-orbitrap mass analyzers. As of June 2021, he has been a co-author on 82 publications and an additional 26 conference proceedings on such various topics as bacterial fingerprinting, novel metabolite identification, amino acid metabolism, bacterial photosynthesis, paleoclimate, electrochemical reaction mechanisms, organometallic photochemistry, neutrino detection, arsenic toxicity, and the chemistry of graphite fluoride.

Dr. Karty became a research associate and director of the Mass Spectrometry Facility (MSF) in 2004 and brought a renewed energy to the laboratory. Jonathan and his colleagues advanced IU research projects with three core competencies. First, they provide high quality accurate mass spectrometry analyses for the research faculty in the department. This often requires finding new techniques for generating stable, intact molecular ions of labile species. Second, the MSF teaches graduate students and research fellows the practice of modern mass spectrometry so they may utilize the many mass spectrometers available for 24 hour walk-up use. Third, they assist students and faculty in designing the analytical portions of many research projects. In 2007 Jon was appointed to the rank of Assistant Scientist, promoted to Associate Scientist in 2013, and promoted to Senior Scientist in 2019. From 2010-2012 Dr. Karty also served as the Interim Director for the METACyt Biochemical Analysis Center; this entity was folded into the Laboratory for Biological Mass Spectrometry (LBMS) in 2012 which is now located in Simon Hall. In 2019, Dr. Karty left the MSF to become the Assistant Chair for Administration and Director of Technical Facilities for the Chemistry Department. During his tenure as director (2004-2019) the MSF grew from housing 4 instruments to 9 (including an NSF-funded GC-QTOF), transformed walk-up low-resolution MS into a core service, and greatly expanded its service offerings to include LC-MS-MS, GC-MS based metabolomics, and thermal desorption GC-MS.

Jonathan Karty ongoing collaborations:
He is a senior member of the IU Phylotox project which combines direct infusion mass-spectrometry based metabolomics with high throughput genetic analyses of model organisms (fruit flies, round worms, zebra fish, etc.) to replace traditional mammalian toxicology studies. The groundwork laid by the labs of Drs. Joseph Shaw, Stephen Jacobson, Maria Bondesson, and Jason Tennessen led to IU’s inclusion as a key partner in the EU-sponsored PrecisionTox program.

Jonathan has maintained a decade-long collaboration with a consortium of scientists studying chromatic acclimation in cyanobacteria. This consortium includes the labs of Professor David Kehoe (IU-Biology), Professor Wendy Schluchter (University of New Orleans), Dr. Frederic Partensky and Dr. Luarence Garczarek at the Roscoff Biological Station of Sorbonne University as well as Dr. Jonathan Trinidad in the LBMS at IU.

Dr. Karty also had the pleasure of collaborating with local businesses in Bloomington and the surrounding area during his tenure as MSF director. These companies include Cardinal Spirits, The Mad Optimist, Quarrymen Coffee, and Knauf Insulation to name a few.

ORC-ID for Jonathan Karty: 0000-0003-1022-9100

Jonathan Karty Publication List (June 2021)