Lectures on Ancient Proteins

University of Copenhagen, Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences

Aim and content

This course is free of charge for PhD students at Danish universities (except Copenhagen Business School), and for PhD Students from NorDoc member faculties. All other participants must pay the course fee.

Anyone can apply for the course, but if you are not a PhD student at a Danish university, you will be placed on the waiting list until enrollment deadline. This also applies to PhD students from NorDoc member faculties. After the enrollment deadline, available seats will be allocated to applicants on the waiting list.

Learning objectives

A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:

1. Identify the research challenges in palaeontology, paleoanthropology, archaeology and cultural heritage studies that palaeoproteomics can successfully address.

2. Understand major decay mechanisms, and therefore better appreciate how extraction protocols are optimised for ancient proteins.

3. Critically assess the content of scientific literature describing palaeoproteomics-based research.


This three-day course will provide the attendees with a detailed, critical description of the methods and the applications of ancient protein analysis. The course will mainly focus on the impact of ancient protein analysis on palaeontology, palaeoanthropology, archaeology, cultural heritage conservation and forensic medicine. In addition, the methods used to analyse and validate ancient, or degraded, proteins will be described. The lectures, attended remotely or in-person (3 days, 6.5 hours each day), will present:

(i) the history of this research field,
(ii) the most advanced technologies and methodologies it relies on, and
(iii) the most relevant scientific achievements it accomplished.

Indicative programme:

1. 14th August: History of Palaeoproteomics and Key Discoveries - Online or in-person attendance
2. 15th August: Applications I (Cultural Heritage) - Online or in-person attendance
3. 16th August: Applications II (Forensics and Evolution) - Online or in-person attendance


The target group for this course are PhD students that wish to augment their research through the incorporation of ancient protein analysis. The course will be of special interest to those investigating paleontology, paleoanthropology, forensics medicine and cultural heritage conservation.

Relevance to graduate programmes

The course is relevant to PhD students from the following graduate programmes at the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences, UCPH:

• Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences

• Oral Sciences, Forensic Medicine and Bioanthropology

NOTE: the course can be of high interest also for PhD fellows from the Humanities and Natural Sciences Graduate Schools at UCPH, nationally and internationally.





Course directors

Enrico Cappellini: Associate Professor, Globe Institute, University of Copenhagen, ecappellini@sund.ku.dk

Alberto Taurozzi: Assistant Professor, Globe Institute, University of Copenhagen, alberto.taurozzi@sund.ku.dk


Enrico Cappellini: Associate Professor, Globe Institute, University of Copenhagen

Alberto Taurozzi: Assistant Professor, Globe Institute, University of Copenhagen

Jesper V. Olsen: Professor, NNF Center for Protein research, University of Copenhagen

Matthew Collins: Professor, Globe Institute, University of Copenhagen

Frido Welker: Associate Professor, Globe Institute, University of Copenhagen

External invited speakers


14 - 16 August 2024

Course location

Kommunehospitalet: Øster Farimagsgade 5,1353 København

Note: the entire course can also be attended remotely


Please register before 15 July 2024

Expected frequency

Once a year in August (block 5)

Seats to PhD students from other Danish universities will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and according to the applicable rules. Applications from other participants will be considered after the last day of enrolment.

Note: All applicants are asked to submit invoice details in case of no-show, late cancellation or obligation to pay the course fee (typically non-PhD students). If you are a PhD student, your participation in the course must be in agreement with your principal supervisor.


Course dates
14 August 2024 - 16 August 2024
Course organizer
Associate Professor Enrico Cappellini, Alberto John Taurozzi