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PhD position on Palaeoproteomics for cultural heritage

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PhD position on Palaeoproteomics for cultural heritage
- Proteins in figurative arts and artworks -
Marie Curie TEMPERA European Training Network

Title : Proteins in figurative arts and artworks : from bottom up to top down proteomics

Objectives : (i) identification of proteins in paint binders and their biological origins for a better understanding of artworks, (ii) identification of protein chemical modifications (due to local environment, pollution, restoration treatments, conservation conditions, etc.) for a better knowledge of artwork conservation/degradation.

Expected Results : The impact of commonly used restoration tools will be defined at molecular level. Proteins truncations and chemical modifications will be determined. Identification of common and uncommon protein modifications, identification of biological species, study of proteins from unsequenced genomes will be massively improved.

The analysis of proteins in figurative arts includes (i) the identification of proteins and their biological origins for a better understanding of artworks, (ii) but also the identification of protein chemical modifications (due to local environment, pollution, restoration treatments, conservation conditions, etc.) for a better knowledge of artwork conservation/degradation. ESR1’s activity will be divided in technical sessions (bottom up and top down experiments), visit of museums and their restoration/conservation sections and study of specific artworks. The interactions with museums, conservators and restorers will be done via (i) the LeadART network (resulting from JPI-JHEP project 2014-2018), and (ii) the NordART networkthat links research, museums (Louvre, Matisse museum, etc.) and archaeology in the North of France. The analytical sessions will include both bottom up and top down approaches. Bottom-up proteomics is the current proteomics mainstream. Particular focus will be given to sample preparation (according to the type of sample), analytical workflow adapted to the study of very small sample amounts (on-line nanoLC nanoESI-Orbitrap MS), instrument settings, and bioinformatic tools (commercial softwares and custom-developed ones) used for protein identification, identification of common and uncommon protein modifications, identification of biological species, study of proteins from unsequenced genomes. The second part of the analytical session will focus on the top down approach (see Chem. Rev. 2016, 116, 2−79), using a high-resolution MS analyzer and the direct fragmentation of proteins without preliminary chemical or enzymatic hydrolysis. Particular cautions related to the sample preparation are needed and will be shown during ESR1’s project (e.g. intact proteins extraction from their complex matrix). Top down experiments will be applied to the study of protein extracts from various ancient artworks using nanoLC nanoESI-Qh-FT-ICR MS including CID (Collision Induced Dissociation), ECD (Electron Capture Dissociation) and IRMPD (InfraRed MultiPhoton Dissociation) experiments. The impact of commonly used restoration tools will be studied at molecular level on model samples formulated in the lab with ancient recipes and on ancient samples restored/non restored in Partners’museums. Proteins truncations and chemical modifications will be studied.

The candidate will have to interact with restorers, conservators, art historians and archaeologists from the partners’ museums and MSAP partners’ laboratories.

The project will require careful development of activities for public engagement as well as writing scientific articles, papers, reports or books, as appropriate. The selected PhD candidate will also be required to attend network-wide workshop events and take active part to network-wide remote activities.

Submission deadline : 15 July 2017
Results of candidate selection : 17 July 2017
PhD starting : 1st September 2017

contact : Caroline.Tokarski@univ-lille1.fr