Georgia Ntasi (UNINA)

About Georgia

Chemistry always intrigued me for its applicability in different fields of science. Getting analytical chemistry as a starting point, my research interests expanded towards organic synthesis and analysis in my BSc, while a research study on targeted metabolomics in human plasma was carried out during my MSc. All these experiences gave me the opportunity to get valuable knowledge in chromatographic and spectrometric techniques for the analysis of small molecules that I had the opportunity to put into practice working for one year as an Analytical R&D scientist. Furthermore my continuous interest for the biochemistry background in all of the projects that I have taken over along with my previous knowledge and experience motivated me to expand my field of expertise in proteomics.

In the frame of this PhD position my main goal is to apply my knowledge in biochemistry and widen the ‘’omics’’ technology from metabolomics to proteomics in ancient proteins for the preservation of cultural heritage as a final application. I strongly believe that my background in chemistry as well as and my previous research experiences could be an asset for the PhD program.

Georgia's PhD project


The ESR5 will focus on the analysis and definition of ancient protein deamidation with the use of mass spectrometry (MS) using ancient human bones from excavation sites Herculaneum and Pompeii as a case study and then expanding this knowledge for the study of protein degradation in other archaeological remains and works of art.

Expected results

The projects aims to facilitate new and deeper strategic research, in the characterization of a wider range of modifications, those expected as well as those not yet characterized, that occur in proteins upon aging of deterioration in samples that have been exposed to a wide spectrum of different environmental conditions.

My project

A challenging, as well as intriguing peculiarity of ancient proteins is their signature pattern of deterioration and aging represented by covalent modifications. Distinction between modifications occurred in vivo and diagenetically derived alterations will provide important information on the physiology of ancient organisms, and on the aging and deterioration of artworks. Rigorous identification of protein degradation products and the reconstruction of their formation pathways, through spontaneous reactions with endogenous or exogenous compounds, will also be associated with specific environmental factors, leading to develop a more efficient preservation of ancient samples. Much work still needs to be done to understand and characterize the whole range of modifications occurring during proteins aging in samples exposed to a wide spectrum of different environmental conditions. In this thematic section, characterisation of modifications known to accumulate in ancient samples over millennia, such as deamidation and oxidation, as well as blind search for other, less common, spontaneous modifications will be used to identify environmental changes, aging and diagenetic factors.

It is still an open question whether deamidation of glutamine (Q) and asparagine (N) could be used as a dating technique in ancient samples, but it is widely accepted that deamidation can be considered as a biomolecular marker of deterioration and natural aging of proteins in artistic and archaeological materials . Detection of deamidation can offer interesting prospects in the evaluation of the conservation state of work of arts and archaeological remains. However, deamidation is a delicate modification, since it is strongly influenced by several parameters such as pH and temperature. Deamidation is also a delicate modification from a purely technical point of view, since it induces a mass shift of only 0.98 Da, and deamidation can occur also as a by-product of sample preparation. This modification will be explored as specific signature of the conservation state of collagens from bones from Herculaneum and Pompeii (that although arising from the same catastrophic event have experienced different burial conditions). The work will beneficiate of the interaction with the anthropologist Dr. Pierpaolo Petrone (University of Naples, Federico II) and the professional restorer (Dr. Giancarlo Fatigati) collaborating with the Museo Archeologico di Napoli (MAN), to widen the technical approaches to samples. Methodological development will allow proper quantification of deamidation levels and identification of unexpected modifications that can be used as molecular signatures of deterioration/aging.


Planned secondments:

  1. Secondment period of 3-4 months at USTL (co-supervision), to compare analytical procedures.

  2. Secondment period of 4-5 months at UoY to share and compare experience on ancient protein degradation with Gopaiah Talari and Matthew Collins.


2016-2017: PharmaGnose S.A, Position: R&D Analyst

Research and development of methodologies for:

I. The qualitative or quantitative analysis of natural compounds in final commercial products (supplements etch)

II. Detection and quantification of natural compounds in biological samples after the administration with the natural product with the use of UHPLC-MS/MS, HPLC-DAD and GC-MS.

Validation of analytical methods according to the guidelines of FDA or EMA

Stability studies

2014-2016: MSc in Pharmaceutical Analysis & Quality Control, Faculty of Pharmacy, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Thesis topic: “Development and validation of analytical methodology with UHPLC-MS/MS for quantification of the methylation pathway”

2009-2014: Bachelor in Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Thesis topic: “Synthesis of a palladium complex with a β-D-glucopyranosyl-thiosemicarbazone and its application in the Suzuki-Miyaura coupling of aryl bromides with phenylboronic acid.”


The ESR has completed a 5 month secondment in the laboratory of Prof. Enrico Cappellini at the University of Copenhagen.


Synthesis of a palladium complex with a β-D-glucopyranosyl- thiosemicarbazone and its application in the Suzuki-Miyaura coupling of aryl bromides with phenylboronic acid, Alia-Cristina Tenchiu, Iro- Konstantina Ventouri, Georgia Ntasi, Dimitrios Palles, George Kokotos, Dimitra Kovala-Demertzi, Ioannis D. Kostas, Inorganica Chimica Acta

Roasted and green coffee extracts show antioxidant and cytotoxic activity in myoblast and endothelial cell lines in a cell specific manner.Priftis A, Panagiotou EM, Lakis K, Plika C, Halabalaki M, Ntasi G, Veskoukis AS, Stagos D, Skaltsounis LA, Kouretas D, Food Chemical Toxicology

Effect of polyphenols from coffee and grape on gene expression in myoblasts. Priftis A, Goutzourelas N, Halabalaki M, Ntasi G, Stagos D, Amoutzias GD, Skaltsounis LA, Kouretas D, Mechanisms of Ageing and Development

Enhancement of Antioxidant Mechanisms and Reduction of Oxidative Stress in Chickens after the Administration of Drinking Water Enriched with Polyphenolic Powder from Olive Mill Waste Waters.Papadopoulou A, Petrotos K, Stagos D, Gerasopoulos K, Maimaris A, Makris H, Kafantaris I, Makri S, Kerasioti E, Halabalaki M, Brieudes V, Ntasi G, Kokkas S, Tzimas P, Goulas P, Zakharenko AM, Golokhvast KS, Tsatsakis A, Kouretas D, Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity.

Roasting has a distinct effect on the antimutagenic activity of coffee varieties. Priftis A, Panagiotou EM, Lakis K, Plika C, Halabalaki M, Ntasi G, Veskoukis AS, Stagos D, Skaltsounis LA, Kouretas D, Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis.

Evolved Gas Analysis-Mass Spectrometry to Identify the Earliest Organic Binder in Aegean Style Wall Paintings. Linn R, Bonaduce I, Ntasi G, Birolo L, Yasur-Landau A, Cline EH, Nevin A, Lluveras-Tenorio A, Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2018

Minimally Invasive and Portable Method for the Identification of Proteins in Ancient Paintings. Ntasi G, Cicatiello P, Rossi M, Marino G, Giardina P, Birolo L, Anal Chem. 2018




LinkedIn: Georgia Ntasi

ResearcherID: Georgia Ntasi

At: University of Naples Federico II

Supervisor: Leila Birolo