Dr Duddy is co-lead of Ulster University’s neuromuscular research team, his primary focus being the translation of the team’s findings into clinical and commercial impact. Building on a diverse background in molecular & cellular biology, biochemistry, and bioinformatics, he integrates systems biology data analytics into the team’s cutting-edge cell and molecular studies. Results generated by this integrative approach have led the team to investigate the role of secretory vesicles - microscopic molecular packages released by cells - in neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders. The neuromuscular team has identified vesicles as a source of neuronal toxicity – and therefore as novel drug targets - and also as a source of biomarkers that could enable diagnosis of a range of neuromuscular and neurodegenerative conditions from a simple blood draw.
His commitment to neuromuscular research derives from losing his brother to Duchenne muscular dystrophy - which he has discussed in the context of rare disease research advocacy.
Dr Duddy’s PhD project at the University of Glasgow was focused on computational analyses of molecular geometry, during which he learned various large data analytical techniques and programming. As a post-doctoral researcher at Children's National Medical Center, Washington DC, he published several papers on cell and murine models of muscle disease. As project lead in bioinformatics at the Center of Research in Myology, Sorbonne/UPMC, Paris, he developed data mining and systems biology approaches to neuromuscular pathology.
Research Publications & Editorial roles
Dr Duddy has published more than 45 international research papers and book chapters, which have collectively been cited over 1,000 times (Scopus profile).
He is an active editor for the Journal of Personalised Medicine since 2020, and is a regular peer reviewer for international journals including Nucleic Acids Research, Human Molecular Genetics, Plos One, Frontiers, Genes, Brain Communications, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, JoVE, MDPI Biomedicines, MDPI Applied Sciences, Biocybernetics, IBRO, Cells, and Proteomics Clinical Applications.
Professional & Civic Profile
His activities support collaborative research in personalised medicine for neuromuscular disease, and building partnerships that raise the profile of neuromuscular research and that raise public awareness of rare neuromuscular conditions.
Board and panel representations:
- Call Steering Committee member and Peer Review Panel member for the European Research Area Network in Personalised Medicine (2018-2023).
- Scientific Evaluator and Session Moderator of the ERA Personalised Medicine final symposium (2023).
- Doctoral Fellowship Evaluation Panel member for HSC Research & Development (2021).
- Research grant reviewer for BBSRC, MRC, French Association against Myopathy, Leverhulme Trust, Lombardy Regional Fund, Netherlands Duchenne Parent Project.
Charity involvement, professional partnerships, and public outreach:
- Board member of the Northern Ireland Rare Disease Partnership (2018-2020) and scientific advisor (2021-present).
- Member of Muscular Dystrophy UK Communications Group (2022-present)
- Author of RTÉ Brainstorm article, “A molecular murder mystery: what kills motor neurons?”
- Founding member of the Ulster University Alliance against Rare Diseases, Ulster-RARE
Module coordinator for Multi-omics and Systems Biology (BIO535) and for Applied Bioinformatics (BIO548), both of which are final year modules on the Personalised Medicine degree.
He also contributes lectures and/or assessments in various other modules, and teaching workshops to the MBBS medicine degree programme.
Sources of the Team’s Research Funding
AFM-Téléthon, ARSLA, the Association of British Neurologists, Duchenne Ireland, Invest NI, the Irish Institute of Clinical Neuroscience, Muscular Dystrophy UK, the Target-ALS Foundation, and industry collaboration.