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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Staff and Governance

Core Staff

The day-to-day running of IMEMS is the responsibility of the Core Executive Committee, comprising the Director and Associate Directors and the Administrator. 

Publication details for Dr Andrew R Millard

Kendall, R., Hendy, J., Collins, M. J., Millard, A. R. & Gowland, R. L. (2016). Poor preservation of antibodies in archaeological human bone and dentine. STAR: Science and Technology of Archaeological Research 2(1): 15-24.

Author(s) from Durham


The growth of proteomics-based methods in archaeology prompted an investigation of the survival of non-collagenous proteins, specifically immunoglobulin G (IgG), in archaeological human bone and dentine. Over a decade ago reports were published on extracted, immunoreactive archaeological IgG, and the variable yields of IgG molecules detected by Western blots of 1D and 2D SDS-PAGE gels. If IgG can indeed be recovered from archaeological skeletal material, it offers remarkable opportunities for exploring the history of disease - for example in applying functional anti-malarial IgGs to study past patterns of malaria. More recently, the field has seen a move away from immunological approaches and towards the use of shotgun proteomics via mass spectrometry. Using previously published techniques, this study attempted to extract and characterize archaeological IgG proteins. In only one extraction method were immunoglobulin derived peptides identified, and these displayed extensive evidence of degradation. The failure to extract immunoglobulins by all but one method, along with observed patterns of protein degradation, suggests that IgG may be an unsuitable target for detecting disease-associated antigens. This research highlights the importance of revisiting previously ‘successful’ biomolecular methodologies using emerging technologies.

Full Executive Committee

Our Full Executive Committee is made up of the Core Executive Committee, listed above, plus a number of executive members including:

International Advisory Board

We are extremely fortunate to have be able to call on the help and guidance of colleagues from around the world who help to shape and guide our direction, strategy and international reach. Our current Advisory Board members are: