Caroline Tokarski

ARCHE Co-director

Professor, Université de Bordeaux

Caroline Tokarski is an analytical chemist specialized in high resolution mass spectrometry.  Her research focuses on methodological developments for analysis of native or transformed organic materials. She adapted omics techniques to cultural heritage samples for accurate identification of macromolecules (proteins, lipids, polysaccharides, and other macromolecular compounds), their modifications and their biological origins. She proposed the first application of proteomics for artworks and archaeological samples using mass spectrometry, sequencing and peptide mass fingerprinting in the early 2000s. With her collaborators and students, she worked on the developments of the first application of omics for polysaccharide sequencing and fingerprinting in artworks and more recently, on the first application of top-down proteomics in Cultural Heritage for whole protein investigations. Her current work with her team and partners focuses on organic networks / crosslinking in Cultural Heritage samples and on macromolecule mapping with MALDI imaging techniques.

Julie Arslanoglu 

ARCHE Co-director

Research Scientist, The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Julie Arslanoglu joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2006. She investigates paints, coatings, adhesives, and the organic materials of artworks across all ages using mass-spectrometric and immunological techniques, with emphasis on natural and synthetic polymer identification and degradation. She introduced enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) localization to the field of Cultural Heritage, allowing the visualization of the position of targeted organic macromolecules, and championed a robust platform of multi-faceted approaches, including MS and DNA analysis, within the Met’s Department of Scientific Research and with her collaborators. In order to facilitate biological materials research in Cultural Heritage, she co-founded Art Bio Matters (, a growing cross-disciplinary community of historians, conservators and scientists who educate, collaborate, and debate at biannual meetings and through a dedicated online workspace.  


Francesca Galluzzi 

Postdoctoral Researcher, Université de Bordeaux    

Dr Francesca Galluzzi is a postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Bordeaux. Her BSc and MSc degree were in Science for Cultural Heritage analysis (University of Venice and Bologna). She earned her PhD in Chemical Science from the University of Bordeaux in 2021. The doctoral project was part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network TEMPERA, and it was focused on the development of new methodologies based on mass spectrometry for the analysis of proteinaceous compounds in different artistic materials. Her research interests include the characterisation of proteins collected at the trace level (following the bottom up and top-down approaches) and the investigation of chemical and structural modifications induced in proteins by processes of ageing and degradation (particularly cross-linking formations). 

Francesca Galluzzi
Catherine headshot cropped

Catherine Gilbert

PhD Student, Université de Bordeaux

Catherine Gilbert is a PhD student in the group of Caroline Tokarski at the Université de Bordeaux. She has a degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Maastricht University (Maastricht Science Program), and a joint Masters degree in Analytical Chemistry from the Universiteit van Amsterdam and the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. She is performing her PhD research in the context of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie ETN, PUSHH (Palaeoproteomics to Unleash Studies on Human History).

Vaclav Krupicka 

PhD student, Université de Bordeaux

Vaclav recieved his MChem from University of Warwick (UK) focusing on top-down proteomics using ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry. He is currently pursuing his PhD in the group of prof. Caroline Tokarski focusing on developing methodologies in applying top-down mass spectrometry in the field of Cultural Heritage samples as part of the ARCHE laboratory.

Billie Males

Senior Research Assistant, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Billie Males recently obtained her MPhil from the University of Cambridge, where she used proteomics to investigate the materiality of medieval parchment manuscripts. While studying at the University of Chicago, she collaborated with the Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts (NU/AIC) to characterize pigments using spectral microscopy and other analytical techniques. She has just joined ARCHE as a senior research assistant at the Met, where she will be working on the simplifying sample preparation project. 

Aleksandra Popowich 

Conservation Scientist, The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Dr. Aleksandra Popowich is a conservation scientist at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She joined ARCHE while a research associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in the Department of Scientific Research from 2020 – 2023. While she uses both mass spectrometry and spectroscopy techniques to characterize cultural heritage, her specialization is studying the artistic uses of proteins and lipids by mass spectrometry. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute focusing on the characterization of decorative metal threads and the development of gilding technology, from Medieval to contemporary. She holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Alberta, where she studied the interactions of carcinogenic arsenic compounds with proteins using mass spectrometry and immunoassays, and a BSc in chemistry from the University of British Columbia. Aleks has also assisted the Conservation Departments of the Royal Alberta Museum (Edmonton, Canada) and the Glenbow (Calgary, Canada).  

Daniel Vallejo 

Postdoctoral Researcher, Georgia Tech University

Dr. Daniel Vallejo is an NSF MPS-ASCEND postdoctoral research scholar at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta Georgia in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the group of Facundo Fernández. He studies the structure and stability of proteins found in cultural heritage objects using ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS). He obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor where he developed IM-MS methodologies for the rapid biophysical stability and structural characterization of biotherapeutic antibodies and their biosimilars, and he received his BS in chemistry from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.  

Sarah E. Noll 

Research Associate, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dr. Sarah Noll joined ARCHE as a Research Associate in the Department of Scientific Research at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New YorkShe is continuing the National Endowment for the Humanities grant project (“A novel tripartite approach to biomolecule analysis for the identification of unknown artistic materials applied to the use of chia oil in art from New Spain”) to characterize the use of chia oil in 18th c. Mexican lacquer and paintings through the application of bottom-up proteomics, genomics, and lipidomics. Previously, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pomona College, where she taught physical, general, and analytical chemistry. She obtained her PhD in chemistry from Stanford University in the group of Richard N. Zare, where she used desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry imaging to study metabolism and signaling in small plant and mammalian tissues. She also holds an MPhil in chemistry from the University of Cambridge, where she worked on an interdisciplinary project to identify subsurface pigments in illuminated manuscripts, as well as a BA in chemistry and German from Pomona College. 

Associated Researchers 

Nicolas Desbenoit

CNRS Researcher

Dr. Nicolas Desbenoit joined the CNRS in 2017 as researcher. He is an analytical chemist specialized in mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) based on MALDI. His research focuses on methodological developments to investigate the distribution of any biomolecules (lipids, metabolites, drugs, peptides/proteins, etc.) within tissue sections applied to biomedical research. His current work with his collaborators and students, is focused on the development of the challenging multimodal imaging associating MALDI-MSI with other modalities including vibrational spectroscopies (infrared, Raman), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and immunohistochemistry.

Katell Bathany

Research Engineer, Université de Bordeaux

Katell Bathany is research engineer in the group of Prof. Caroline Tokarski at the University of Bordeaux. Her area of expertise is MALDI and ESI mass spectrometry techniques applied to the analysis of a wide variety of biomolecules (proteins, glycans, lipids, oligonucleotides, synthetic chemical compounds) in mass range from small molecules to high molecular weight. Her research activities are focused on investigating the structure of biomacromolecules (including post-translational modifications like glycosylations) and more recently developing bottom-up proteomics methodologies using high resolution mass spectrometry for Cultural Heritage samples analysis.

Stéphane Chaignepain

CNRS Research Engineer

Dr. Stéphane Chaignepain is a CNRS research engineer at the Institute of Cellular Biochemistry and Genetics (IBGC) of Bordeaux. For years he has worked closely within Caroline Tokarski’s group. He holds a PhD in biological and medical sciences from the University of Bordeaux with a specialty in biochemistry and molecular biology, where he studied the structure/function relationships of yeast mitochondrial ATPsynthase subunits. His current research addresses questions related to protein conformation and dynamics, the organization of protein complexes, and protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions, using a combination of complementary MS-based structural proteomics approaches including chemical cross-linking coupled to MS (XL-MS), Hydrogen/Deuterium isotopic exchange analyzed by MS (HDX-MS), limited proteolysis coupled to MS (LiP-MS), and affinity-based protein profiling (ABPP).

Bertrand Thomas

CNRS Research Engineer

Dr Bertrand Thomas is a CNRS research engineer at the Institute of Chemistry & Biology of Membranes & Nano-objets (CBMN). A thesis on the geochemical cycle of trace elements in the marine environment gave him a solid grounding in analytical chemistry using mass spectrometry, which he developed in a limnology laboratory at the University of Geneva, where he was responsible for the integration and operation of a new mass spectrometer, as well as its working environment. In 2000, he joined CNRS at the Laboratory of Nuclear and Analytical Chemistry and Bio-environment CNAB), where he developed his instrumentation skills within a mass spectrometry group. Technical manager of instruments dedicated to noble gas analysis, he was the technical coordinator of mass spectrometer construction projects and also made a major contribution to studies on topics such as nuclear waste storage and paleoclimatology. After taking charge of the Instrumentation and Detectors department at the Centre d’études nucléaires de Bordeaux Gradignan (CENBG), he joined Professor Caroline Tokarski’s group at CBMN in June 2023 with the aim of contributing his experience in trace element analysis in heritage sciences in conjunction with organic compound measurements.