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Isik Kanik

Photo of Isik Kanik


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 183-601

Pasadena, CA 91109





Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Planetary Science


  • Ph.D. in Physics, University of California, Riverside, California, USA (1988)

Professional Experience

  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. (1995 - Present)
    • Senior Research Scientist (2006 - Present)
    • Section Manager, Planetary and Life Detection Section (over 120 Ph. D. Scientists) (2004 - 2009)
    • Principal Scientist (2002-Present)
    • Lead Scientist, Instrument Development and Spectroscopy Research Element (2001 - 2004)
    • Research Scientist and Team Leader, The Atomic and Molecular Collision Research Element (1995-2001)
    • Scientist (1992 - 1995)
  • National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council Research Associate, (1990 - 1992)
  • Adjunct Professor of Physics, California State University, Fullerton, (1996-Present)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA, (1988-1989)

Research Interests

  • Laboratory Spectroscopy: UV emission, laser spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy, ionization techniques) relevant to planetary atmospheres and astrophysical plasmas
  • In situ Instrumentation/Detection Techniques: Miniature mass spectrometers and ion mobility spectrometry, differential Mobility spectrometry, sample extraction, sample handling techniques and detection

Selected Awards

  • NASA Group Achievement Award-  NAI Icy Worlds Team - Team PI:  I. Kanik (2015)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award Electron Collisions Team (2011)
  • NASA Certificate of Recognition (2004) for a new technique called "Miniature Focusing Time-of-Flight Spectrometer"
  • JPL Explorer Award for Strategic Road Map and implementation for Planetary Science
  • Elected Fellow of The Institute of Physics (2001)
  • NASA Certificate of Recognition (2001) for a new technique called "Proton-Transfer-Reaction-Ion-Mobility Spectrometry" (2001)
  • Guest Editor for Physics and Chemistry of Earth, Published by the European Geophysical Society (2000)
  • JPL Exceptional Technical Excellence Award (Individual) (1999)
  • American Men and Women of Science (1997-98) edition
  • International Who's Who (American Biographical Institute, 1998 edition)
  • JPL Technology and Applications Programs Group Achievement Award (1997)
  • National Research Council, Resident Research Fellowship Award (1990-92)
  • Dean's List for Outstanding Student (1985-1988); Univ. of California, Riverside
  • Ministry of Education Fellowship Award for Ph. D. Degree (1982), (TURKEY)

Selected Publications

  1. Menlyadiev, M., Henderson, B., Zhong, F., Lin,Y., and Kanik, I., Extraction of Amino Acids using Supercritical Carbon Dioxide for in Situ Chemical Analysis for Astrobiological Applications (in press, International Journal of Astrobiology, July 2018).
  2. Coy, S.L., E.V. Krylov, G.A. Eiceman and Kanik, A Gapless Micro-Dielectric-Barrier-Discharge Ion Source for Analytical Applications, 2018 Anal. Chem. (in press).
  3. McCaig, H. C., Stockton, A., Crilly, C., Kanik, I., Chung, S., Lin, Y. and Zhong, F., Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction of Coronene in the Presence of Perchlorate for In Situ Chemical Analysis of Martian Regolith, Astrobiology, 16, 703, (2016)
  4. White, L. M. Bhartia, R., Stucky, G. D., Kanik, I. and Russell, M. J., Mackinawite and greigite in ancient alkaline hydrothermal chimneys: Identifying potential key catalysts for emergent life, Earth and Planet. Sci. Lett. 430, 15 November 2015, Pages 105–114.
  5. Barge, L. M., Y. Abedian, M. J. Russell, I. J. Doloboff, J. H. E. Cartwright, R. D. Kidd, Kanik, I.,  From Chemical Gardens to Fuel Cells: Generation of Electrical Potential and Current Across Self-Assembling Iron Mineral Membranes. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 54   Issue: 28   Pages: 8184-8187 (2015).
  6. Barge, L. M., Abedian, Y., Doloboff, I. J., Nunez, J. E., Russell, M. J. Kidd, R. D., Kanik, I., “Chemical Gardens as Flow-Through Reactors Simulating Natural Hydrothermal Systems”, Vis. Exp. (105), e53015, doi:10.3791/53015 (2015).
  7. Barge, Laura M.; Kee, Terence P.; Doloboff, Ivria J.; et al., The Fuel Cell Model of Abiogenesis: A New Approach to Origin-of-Life Simulations ASTROBIOLOGY, 14, 254-270 (2014).
  8. Russell, M.J., Barge, L.M., Bhartia, R., Bocanegra, D., Bracher, P.J., Branscomb, E., Kidd, R., McGlynn, S.E., Meier, D.H., Nitschke, W., Shibuya, T., Vance, S., White, L., & Kanik, I. (2014) The drive to life on wet and icy worlds. ASTROBIOLOGY 14, 308-343 (2014). [Cover story].
  9. Barge, L.M., Doloboff, I.J., Russell, M.J., VanderVelde, D., White, L.M.,Stucky, G.D., Baum, M.M., Zeytounian, J., Kidd, R., & Kanik. I. 2014, Pyrophosphate synthesis in iron mineral films and membranes simulating prebiotic submarine hydrothermal precipitates. Cosmochim. Acta, Volume:128   Pages: 1-12   (2014).
  10. Soparawalla, S., J. Duncan, A. Fisher, Kanik and L. Beegle (2012) In Situ Analysis of Organic Material with a Portable Mass Spectrometer Earth and Space 10: 9780784412190.049.
  11. Tsou, P. Brownlee, D. E. Christopher P. McKay, C. P., Anbar, A. D., Yano, H., Altwegg, K., Beegle, L. W., Dissly, R., Strange, N. J., and Kanik, I., LIFE: Life Investigation For Enceladus A Sample Return Mission Concept in Search for Evidence of Life, (2012) ASTROBIOLOGY Volume 12, Number 8.
  12. Malone, C. P., Johnson, P. V., Xianming L., Ajdari, B.,  Kanik, I., and  Khakoo, M. A., Integral cross sections for the electron-impact excitation of the b 1 Πu, c3 1 Πu, o3 1 Πu, b′ 1Σu+, c4′ 1Σu+, G 3 Πu, and F 3 Πu states of N2 (2012) Phys. Rev. A, 85, 062704.
  13. McGlynn, S. E. Kanik, I. and Russell, M. J. Peptide and RNA contributions to iron–sulphur chemical gardens as life’s first inorganic compartments, catalysts, capacitors and condensers, Trans. R. Soc. A, (2012) 370 , 3007-3022.
  14. Barge Laura M.; Doloboff Ivria J.; White Lauren M.; et al. Characterization of Iron-Phosphate-Silicate Chemical Garden Structures, LANGMUIR , 28 (2012)  Issue: 8 Pages: 3714-3721. [Cover story]
  15. Heays A. N.; Lewis B. R.; Gibson S. T.; et al., Tuning out vibrational levels in molecular electron energy-loss spectra, PHYS. REV. A, 85   (2012) Issue: 1 Article Number:
  16. Xianming, L. Shemansky Donald E.; Johnson Paul V.; et al. Electron and photon dissociation cross sections of the H(2) singlet ungerade continua, J. Phys. B: AND OPTICAL PHYSICS 45 (2012) Issue: 1
  17. Randall M. E.; Robinson Kirtland J.; White Lauren M.; et al., Iron-Sulfide-Bearing Chimneys as Potential Catalytic Energy Traps at Life's Emergence ASTROBIOLOGY, 11 (2011) Issue: 10   Pages: 933-950.
  18. Hodyss R., Howard H. R., Johnson, P.V., Goguen, J. D., Kanik, I., Formation of radical species in photolyzed CH(4):N(2) ices, ICARUS, 214 (2011) Issue: 2, 748-753
  19. Sokol, E. Robert J. Noll, R. Graham Cooks, Luther W. Beegle, Hugh I. Kim, Isik Kanik, Miniature mass spectrometer equipped with electrospray and desorption electrospray ionization for direct analysis of organics from solids and solutions, International Journal of Mass Spectrometry 306 (2011) 187– 195. [Selected as a Most Cited Articles in 2011]
  20. E Orzechowska.; Kidd R. D.; Foing B. H.; Analysis of Mars analogue soil samples using solid-phase microextraction, organic solvent extraction and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ASTROBIOLOGY  Volume: 10   Issue: 3   Special Issue: SI   Pages: 209-219   DOI: 10.1017/S1473550410000443   Published: JUL 2011.
  21. Johnson Paul V.; Hodyss Robert; Bolser Diana K.; et al. Ultraviolet-Stimulated Fluorescence and Phosphorescence of Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Water Ice ASTROBIOLOGY  Volume: 11   Issue: 2   Pages: 151-156   DOI: 1089/ast.2010.0568   Published: MAR 2011
  22. Johnson,P., R Hodyss, HR Howard, JD Goguen, I Kanik,  Atomic Carbon Chemistry in Photolyzed Triton-like Ices (2010) Am. Astro. Soc., 42, 969
  23. Liu, X, DE Shemansky, PV Johnson, CP Malone, H Melin, JA Young, and Kanik, I., The Saturn hot atomic hydrogen plume: Quantum mechanical investigation of H2 dissociation mechanisms (2010), Advances in Geosciences, 19,
  24. Johnson, p.v., JA Young, CP Malone, MA Khakoo, X Liu, I Kanik Electron impact processes in nitrogen rich atmospheres of the outer solar system (2010), Phys.: Conference Series 204 (1), 012003.
  25. Russell, M.J., Kanik, I. (2010) Why Does Life Start, What Does It Do, Where Will It Be, And How Might We Find It? Journal of Cosmology, 5, 1008-1039.
  26. Mielke Randall E.; Russell Michael J.; Wilson Philip R.; et al. Design, Fabrication, and Test of a Hydrothermal Reactor for Origin-of-Life Experiments ASTROBIOLOGY  Volume: 10   Issue: 8Pages: 799-810   DOI: 1089/ast.2009.0456   Published: OCT 2010
  27. Kim Hugh I.; Kim Hyungjun; Shin Young Shik; et al. Time Resolved Studies of Interfacial Reactions of Ozone with Pulmonary Phospholipid Surfactants Using Field Induced Droplet Ionization Mass Spectrometry, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B  Volume: 114   Issue: 29   Pages: 9496-9503   DOI: 1021/jp102332g   Published: JUL 29 2010
  28. Young J. A.; Malone C. P.; Johnson P. V.; et al. Lyman-Birge-Hopfield emissions from electron-impact excited N(2) JOURNAL OF PHYSICS B-ATOMIC MOLECULAR AND OPTICAL PHYSICS  Volume: 43   Issue: 13     Article Number: 135201   DOI: 1088/0953-4075/43/13/135201   Published: JUL 14 2010.
  29. Liu Xianming; Johnson Paul V.; Malone Charles P.; et al. KINETIC ENERGY DISTRIBUTION OF H(1s) FROM H(2) X (1)Sigma(+)(g)-a(3)Sigma(+)(g) EXCITATION AND LIFETIMES AND TRANSITION PROBABILITIES OF a (3)Sigma(+)(g)(v, J) ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL  Volume: 716   Issue: 1   Pages: 701-711   DOI: 1088/0004-637X/716/1/701   Published: JUN 10 2010
  30. Kim Hugh I.; Kim Hyungjun; Shin Young Shik; et al. Interfacial Reactions of Ozone with Surfactant Protein B in a Model Lung Surfactant System JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, Volume: 132 Issue: 7 Pages: 2254-2263   DOI: 1021/ja908477w   Published: FEB 24 2010
  31. Allwood A. C.; Kamber Balz S.; Walter Malcolm R.; et al. Trace elements record depositional history of an Early Archean stromatolitic carbonate platform, CHEMICAL GEOLOGY  Volume: 270   Issue: 1-4   Pages: 148-163   DOI: 1016/j.chemgeo.2009.11.013   Published: FEB 15 2010.
  32. Malone, C.P.,Johnson, P.V., Young, J. A., Kanik, I., Ajdari, B., Khakoo, M. A., Electron impact excitation cross sections of N2 Journal of Physics: Conference Series 194 (5), 052020 (2009).
  33. Malone C. P.; Johnson P. V.; Young J. A.; et al. Integral cross sections for electron-impact excitation of the C(3)Pi(u), E(3)Sigma(+)(g) and a '' (1)Sigma(+)(g) states of N(2) JOURNAL OF PHYSICS B-ATOMIC MOLECULAR AND OPTICAL PHYSICS  Volume: 42   Issue: 22     Article Number: 225202   DOI: 1088/0953-4075/42/22/225202   Published: NOV 28 2009.
  34. Kim Hugh I.; Kim Hyungjun; Pang Eric S.; et al. Structural Characterization of Unsaturated Phosphatidylcholines Using Traveling Wave Ion Mobility Spectrometry ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY  Volume: 81   Issue: 20   Pages: 8289-8297   DOI: 1021/ac900672a   Published: OCT 15 2009.
  35. Young J. A.; Malone C. P.; Johnson P. V.; et al., Dissociative excitation of NO(2) by electron impact JOURNAL OF PHYSICS B-ATOMIC MOLECULAR AND OPTICAL PHYSICS  Volume: 42   Issue: 18     Article Number: 185201   DOI: 1088/0953-4075/42/18/185201   Published: SEP 28 2009.

Please see CV for full publication list