Sarah Fiddyment
British Academy Research Fellow



I received my BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Zaragoza (Spain) in 2006, having completed three years of medical school and two years specialization in Biochemistry. My MSc and subsequent PhD (awarded in 2011) were both completed in the Laboratorio de Investigacion Molecular, at the Miguel Servet University Hospital in Zaragoza, working in the field of cardiovascular research. My work focused on the expression and production of apolipoprotein A-I Zaragoza, a mutant variant of apolipoprotein A-I that offers cardiovascular protection. During this time I gained extensive experience in the field of protein production, purification and characterization using a wide range of molecular techniques. I am currently a Marie Curie postdoctoral research fellow (IEF) in BioArCh at the University of York. My research continues in the field of proteomics, but now applied to a wide range of archaeological material which in many cases can offer answers about health, diet and environment.


Selected publications

Burillo E, Mateo-Gallego R, Cenarro A, Fiddyment S, Bea AM, Jorge I, Vázquez J, Civeira F. (2012) “Beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids in the proteome of high-density lipoprotein proteome.” Lipids Health Dis., 16;11:116. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-11-116.

Fiddyment S, Barceló-Batllori S, Pocoví M, García-Otín AL. (2011) “Expression and purification of recombinant apolipoprotein A-I Zaragoza (L144R) and formation of reconstituted HDL particles.” Protein Expr Purif., 80(1):110-6. Epub 2011 Jul 23.

Burillo E, Andres EM, Mateo-Gallego R, Fiddyment S, Jarauta E, Cenarro A, Civeira F. (2010) “High-density lipoprotein cholesterol increase and non-cardiovascular mortality: a meta-analysis.” Heart, 96(17):1345-51. Review.

Burillo E, Recalde D, Jarauta E, Fiddyment S, Garcia-Otin AL, Mateo-Gallego R, Cenarro A, Civeira F. (2009) “Proteomic study of macrophages exposed to oxLDL identifies a CAPG polymorphism associated with carotid atherosclerosis.” Atherosclerosis, 207(1):32-7. Epub 2009 Apr 16.



My research interests focus on the possibility of using ancient proteins as a biomolecular record providing information about environment, health and diet. Although my primary interest is in proteins, I intend to broaden this research to incorporate ancient DNA analysis of the same materials to complement and broaden the knowledge offered by proteomics.


My current project focuses on proteomic anaylsis of parchments throughout history.

The corpus of handwritten parchment represents one of the major cultural assets of European heritage. The documents have multiple biographies: of the animal itself, the parchmenterie where the skin was prepared, the scriptorium where the parchment was written and finally those of the text and the codex.  Research has tended to focus on the latter lines of evidence, but my research attempts to explore the potential of parchment records to be annual records of molecular change.

Currently it is very difficult to assess the species origin of parchment despite the fact that origin is in many cases a significant element of the material. The only technique that exists (aside from DNA analysis) is follicle analysis, which is only useful on those parchments that still retain the follicles. Using ZooMS analysis we hope to produce a rapid, inexpensive and non-destructive method of species identification based on collagen analysis.

In addition to species identification, isotope analysis of the collagen may provide keys answers about climate and trade, and the geographic location of the animals used to make the parchments.

All this information together with the DNA analysis undertaken by the ERC funded Codex project will hopefully prove that the importance of parchments may lie not just on its skin but in it too.



First year

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External activities


Memberships, etc.


Contact details

Dr Sarah Fiddyment
Marie Curie Research Fellow
University of York
BioArCh, Environment Building
Wentworth Way
YO10 5DD

Tel: (44) 1904 328559