[WS-5.6] Ancient DNA Analysis
In order to participate in this workshop please fill in the Registration Form.

Date: Sunday,30 September
Time: 10:20 : 13:20
Duration: Half day
Place: Cultural Conference Centre of Heraklion (CCCH)
Registration : fill form

Analysis of ancient DNA (aDNA) is new powerful means to study biological excavation specimens and answer paleontological and archaeological science questions.

Comprehensive genome sequencing of genetic material, salvaged into ancient biological specimens (bones and teeth of human and animals, seeds, wood, food residues etc.), can shed light into various anthropological and historical events related to the human origin, the migrations of populations, the domestication of species, the identity and appearance of individuals, diet information, genetic diseases and pathogens.

The workshop will cover:

  • Demonstration and discussion about the conditions and sampling procedure of ancient biological residues in the field, introduction to wet-lab procedures (lab precautions, sample handling, DNA extraction, genomic libraries preparation, sequencing etc).
  • Process of ancient DNA data (Next Generation Sequencing data handling and filtering, DNA damage estimation, contamination check, comparison to reference data).
  • Utilization of ancient DNA data to species identification analysis.
  • Determination of morphological characteristics of individuals (e.g. color, shape) and genetic sex estimation.
  • Introduction to population genetics studies focusing on origin, migration patterns and genetic admixture among populations.
Despoina Vassou
Short Bio:

Despoina Vassou, holding a M.Sc. in Chemistry and a Ph.D. degree in Experimental Medicine, has participated as a postdoctoral fellow in several biomedical research projects and has developed considerable expertise in genomic methodologies and data analysis. She has received training in ancient DNA analysis from the Centre for GeoGenetics, National Museum of Denmark, and she is currently the manager of the Ancient DNA lab of IMBB, supervising its everyday operation and the training of young researchers in Archaeogenetics.

Nikolaos Psonis
Short Bio:

Nikolaos Psonis received his PhD in evolutionary biology from the University of Crete in 2017. He is working in the Ancient DNA Lab of IMBB-FORTH as a Post Doctorate Fellow. His scientific interests are falling into the fields of Archaeogenetics - Palaeogenetics, Population Genetics/Genomics and Molecular Phylogenetics and Phylogeography. He is trained in a variety of wet-lab methodologies including DNA extraction, NGS libraries construction, DNA sequencing, and microsatellite genotyping. Also, he has experience in a wide range of computational molecular evolution tools that are used to handle genetic data, either from modern or from ancient samples and to use these data into genetic, phylogenetic analyses, and population genetics analyses.

Dimitris Kafetzopoulos
Short Bio:

Dimitris Kafetzopoulos, heading the research group of Molecular Biotechnology & Post-Genomic Applications, is at the helm of Genomics and the Ancient DNA Facility of IMBB. His research interests include Archaeogenetics, Personal Genomics and Precision Medicine and Biomedical Informatics. He has participated and/or coordinated several European and national research projects, including research contracts with the pharmaceutical industry, the development of research infrastructures (ELIXIR, EATRIS, BBMRI, E-RIHS, HELLAS-CH), multidisciplinary research initiatives and technology foresight projects. For his inventive and innovative research, he has been awarded by the Greek Patent Office. He is also teaching Molecular and Cellular Biology, Oncogenomics & Pharmacogenomics, and Innovation Management at the University of Crete graduate programs.