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Dr Noemi Procopio

VC Senior Fellow

Department: Applied Sciences

Dr Noemi Procopio is the Principal Investigator of the "ForensOMICS" Team at Northumbria University.

She graduated with first class honours in Biotechnology at the University of Turin with a thesis titled: “Forensic Genetics: Analysis of Samples ‘Low Template DNA’”. Following her BSc, she obtained a 2-year MSc degree (first class honours) in Molecular Biotechnology at the same University, with a thesis titled: “Body Fluids Mixture Analysis From Immunochromatographic Cards” under the supervision of Prof. Sarah Gino.  She then joined the University of Manchester to start her PhD in Forensic Proteomics under the supervision of Dr. Michael Buckley. Her thesis is titled: “Proteome Taphonomy, Biomolecular Investigations into the Process of Decay for Forensic and Archaeological Applications”. After her PhD, she joined Northumbria University as a Lecturer in Forensic Science.

In 2019 she was awarded with the prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship with the project titled ""Forens-OMICS": a cross disciplinary implementation of omics sciences to in vivo and post-mortem ageing investigations for forensic applications". The aim of her project is to investigate how biomolecules, and in particular proteins, metabolites and DNA, can survive and decay after death, to identify new biomarkers in human bones capable of revealing information on the chronological age and the post-mortem interval (PMI) of the individuals. She is also investigating on the use of metabarcoding analyses to study microbial populations for individual identification and PMI estimation purposes. Part of her research also involves the application of proteomic analyses to archaeological human remains to investigate on lifestyles and health conditions of past populations.

She is currently the main supervisor of three PhD students:

Valentina Perrone - "The biology of Tooth Cementum Annulation: understanding its mechanisms and its application in the determination of the post-mortem interval from human remains".

Luke Gent - "Biomolecular Taphonomy in Forensic Science".

Nengi Ogbanga - "The forensic microbiome: investigation of the human microbiome for time since death estimations and human identifications".

She is member of several societies including the Chartered Society of Forensic Science, the American Academy of Forensic Science, the Italian Academy of Forensic Sciences and of the International Society for Forensic Genetics, and Fellow of the HEA. She is part of the Editorial Board of Springer Nature – Springer Series “Soil Forensics". Recently she has been appointed as Visiting Professor at the University of Eastern Piedmont in Novara (Italy).


Noemi Procopio

Campus Address

Ellison Building Block D, Room 221
City Campus
Newcastle upon Tyne

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Dr Procopio's main research interests are:

1) Application of proteomics, metabolomics and genomics to human bones for chronological and post-mortem ageing estimations

2) Understanding bone biomolecules survival post-mortem and their correlation with intrinsic and extrinsic factors in the burial environment

3) Use of metabarcoding approaches of microbial communities to develop new methods to achieve personal identification in forensics and to estimate post-mortem interval

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Insights on the Differential Preservation of Bone Proteomes in Inhumed and Entombed Cadavers from Italian Forensic Caseworks, Bonicelli, A., Di Nunzio, A., Di Nunzio, C., Procopio, N. 22 Mar 2022, In: Journal of Proteome Research
  • Microbial DNA in Human DNA Extracts: Recoverability of the Microbiome in DNA Extracts Stored Frozen Long-Term and its Potential and Ethical Implications for Forensic Investigation, Sguazzi, G., Mickleburgh, H., Ghignone, S., Voyron, S., Renò, F., Migliario, M., Sellitto, F., Lovisolo, F., Camurani, G., Ogbanga, O., Gino, S., Procopio, N. 23 Mar 2022, In: Forensic Science International: Genetics
  • Bone Diagenesis in Short Timescales: Insights from an Exploratory Proteomic Analysis, Procopio, N., Mein, C., Starace, S., Bonicelli, A., Williams, A. 23 May 2021, In: Biology
  • Human Bone Proteomes before and after Decomposition: Investigating the effects of Biological Variation and Taphonomic Alteration on Bone Protein Profiles and the Implications for Forensic Proteomics, Mickleburgh, H., Schwalbe, E., Bonicelli, A., Mizukami, H., Sellitto, F., Starace, S., Wescott, D., Carter, D., Procopio, N. 7 May 2021, In: Journal of Proteome Research
  • Proteome variation with collagen yield in ancient bone, Procopio, N., Hopkins, R., Harvey, V., Buckley, M. 5 Mar 2021, In: Journal of Proteome Research
  • “Touch microbiome” as a potential tool for forensic investigation: A pilot study, Procopio, N., Lovisolo, F., Sguazzi, G., Ghignone, S., Voyron, S., Migliario, M., Renò, F., Sellitto, F., D'angiolella, G., Tozzo, P., Caenazzo, L., Gino, S. 1 Aug 2021, In: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
  • Aquatic Decomposition of Mammalian Corpses: A Forensic Proteomic Approach, Mizukami, H., Hathway, B., Procopio, N. 1 May 2020, In: Journal of Proteome Research
  • Soil Fungal Communities Investigated by Metabarcoding Within Simulated Forensic Burial Contexts, Procopio, N., Ghignone, S., Voyron, S., Chiapello, M., Williams, A., Chamberlain, A., Mello, A., Buckley, M. 24 Jul 2020, In: Frontiers in Microbiology
  • Metabarcoding to Investigate Changes in Soil Microbial Communities within Forensic Burial Contexts, Procopio, N., Mello, A., Williams, A., Ghignone, S., Chamberlain, A., Buckley, M. 1 Mar 2019, In: Forensic Science International: Genetics
  • Exploring Biological and Geological Age-related Changes through Variations in Intra-and Intertooth Proteomes of Ancient Dentine, Procopio, N., Chamberlain, A., Buckley, M. 2 Mar 2018, In: Journal of Proteome Research

PGR Supervision

  • Luke Gent Biomolecular Taphonomy in Forensic Science Start Date: 18/01/2021
  • Valentina Perrone The biology of Tooth Cementum Annulation: understanding its mechanisms and its application in the determination of the post-mortem interval from human remains. Start Date: 01/10/2020

Further Information

Twitter: @SnowEmi - @ForensOMICS

Instagram: @ForensOMICS


Biological Sciences PhD August 08 2018

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