Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Hannah L McLain



Org Code: 691

Mail Code: 691
Greenbelt, MD 20771


Brief Bio

Hannah McLain is an Astrobiologist in the Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory at Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), with a research emphasis on analysis of meteorites and constrained systems to better understand the effect of extraterrestrial input and the origin of molecules relevant for life. The research involves the use of commercial high pressure liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) and gas chromatography liquid chromatography (GC-MS) instruments to examine pristine samples of the early solar system as well as laboratory models of ancient environments.


Research Scientist

The Catholic University of America and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt, MD

November 2013 - Present

Research Scientist

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Chamblee, GA

June 2010 - June 2011


Masters of Science (Chemistry -2010) Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
Bachelors of Science (Chemistry – 2006) Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC

Selected Publications


Dworkin, J. P., L. A. Adelman, T. Ajluni, et al. A. V. Andronikov, J. C. Aponte, A. E. Bartels, E. Beshore, E. B. Bierhaus, J. R. Brucato, B. H. Bryan, A. S. Burton, M. P. Callahan, S. L. Castro-Wallace, B. C. Clark, S. J. Clemett, H. C. Connolly, W. E. Cutlip, S. M. Daly, V. E. Elliott, J. E. Elsila, H. L. Enos, D. F. Everett, I. A. Franchi, D. P. Glavin, H. V. Graham, J. E. Hendershot, J. W. Harris, S. L. Hill, A. R. Hildebrand, G. O. Jayne, R. W. Jenkens, K. S. Johnson, J. S. Kirsch, D. S. Lauretta, A. S. Lewis, J. J. Loiacono, C. C. Lorentson, J. R. Marshall, M. G. Martin, L. L. Matthias, H. L. McLain, S. R. Messenger, R. G. Mink, J. L. Moore, K. Nakamura-Messenger, J. A. Nuth, C. V. Owens, C. L. Parish, B. D. Perkins, M. S. Pryzby, C. A. Reigle, K. Righter, B. Rizk, J. F. Russell, S. A. Sandford, J. P. Schepis, J. Songer, M. F. Sovinski, S. E. Stahl, K. Thomas-Keprta, J. M. Vellinga, and M. S. Walker. 2018. OSIRIS-REx Contamination Control Strategy and Implementation Space Science Reviews 214 (1): 19 [10.1007/s11214-017-0439-4]

Friedrich, J. M., H. L. McLain, J. P. Dworkin, et al. D. P. Glavin, W. H. Towbin, M. Hill, and D. S. Ebel. 2018. Effect of polychromatic X-ray microtomography imaging on the amino acid content of the Murchison CM chondrite Meteoritics & Planetary Science 54 (1): 220–228 [10.1111/maps.13188]

Aponte, J. C., H. L. McLain, J. P. Dworkin, and J. E. Elsila. 2016. Aliphatic Amines in Antarctic CR2, CM2, and CM1/2 Carbonaceous Chondrites Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 189 296-311 [10.1016/j.gca.2016.06.018]

Freissinet, C., S. Getty, M. G. Trainer, et al. D. P. Glavin, H. L. Mclain, and M. Benna. 2016. Evaluation of the robustness of chromatographic columns in a simulated highly radiative Jovian environment Planetary and Space Science 122 38-45 [10.1016/j.pss.2016.01.004]

Elsila, J., M. P. Callahan, D. P. Glavin, et al. J. P. Dworkin, H. L. McLain, S. K. Noble, and J. E. Gibson. 2015. DISTRIBUTION AND ORIGIN OF AMINO ACIDS IN LUNAR REGOLITH SAMPLES 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2015)

Elsila, J. E., M. P. Callahan, J. P. Dworkin, et al. H. L. McLain, S. K. Noble, and E. K. Gibson Jr.. 2015. The origin of amino acids in lunar regolith samples Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 172 357-369 [10.1016/j.gca.2015.10.008]

Burton, A. S., H. L. McLain, D. P. Glavin, et al. J. E. Elsila, J. Davidson, K. E. Miller, A. V. Andronikov, D. Lauretta, and J. P. Dworkin. 2015. Amino acid analyses of R and CK chondrites Meteoritics & Planetary Science 50 (3): 470-482 [10.1111/maps.12433]

Barks, H., H. L. McLain, R. Buckley, et al. G. Grieves, E. Di Mauro, N. Hud, and T. Orlando. 2010. Guanine, Adenine, and Hypoxanthine Production in UV-Irradiated Formamide Solutions: Relaxation of the Requirements for Prebiotic Purine Nucleobase Formation ChemBioChem 11 (9): 1240 [10.1002/cbic.201000074]