Dongsheng Duan, PhD

Photo of Dongsheng Duan, PhD

Molecular Microbiology and Immunology


Margaret Proctor Mulligan Professor in Medical Research Professor
Curators Distinguished Professor



University of Missouri medical researcher Dr. Dongsheng Duan is improving the future for young adults with muscular disease.

Duan’s major research interest is in understanding and treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a devastating disease usually leading to death in early adulthood. His work on the topic, which has spanned many years, has focused on the molecular and cellular biology of the disease gene, the disease mechanism and possible genetic therapies for the disease. In an exciting development, Duan was part of a team that identified a key genetic sequence which is instrumental in DMD. Using their findings, the scientists successfully treated dogs with the disease and are working toward a treatment for humans.

In addition to his medical investigations, Duan’s work includes inspiring future scientists. He invites high school students into his lab to give them hands-on experience conducting research. “We need to give kids an opportunity to see what real science is,” he says.

Since his arrival at MU in 2002, Duan has secured more than $22 million in research funding, mostly from the National Institutes of Health. For his many achievements, Duan has received numerous recognitions including the American Society of Gene Therapy’s Outstanding New Investigator award.

Dr. Dongsheng Duan is Margaret Proctor Mulligan Professor in Medical Research at the School of Medicine with a joint appointment in biomedical sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

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Academic Information

Margaret Proctor Mulligan Professor in Medical Research Professor
Curators Distinguished Professor


M610G Medical Sciences Building
Columbia, MO 65212
United States

P. 573-884-9584

Research Interests

  • Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) transduction biology
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene therapy
  • Duchenne cardiomyopathy
  • Canine model of muscular dystrophy
  • Free radical in muscle function and aging

Areas of Expertise

Education & Training

Post-Graduate School

1997, PhD, University of Pennsylvania

Awards & Honors

Committees and Boards

  • 2021-Present: Associate Editor “Molecular Therapy”
  • 2020 - Present: Associate Editor “Frontiers in Genome Editing
  • 2018 – Present: Associate Editor “Human Gene Therapy”
  • 2014 – Present: Member, Solid GT Scientific Advisory Committee
  • 2014 – Present: Member, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) Scientific Advisory Committee
  • 2011 - Present: Associate Editor “Frontiers in Physiology”
  • 2009 – Present: Editorial board “Molecular Therapy”
  • 2008 – Present: Editorial board “Gene Therapy”
  • 2011 – 2018: Editorial board “PLoS Currents:  Muscular Dystrophy”
  • 2008 – 2012: NIH SMEP Study Section charter member
  • 2010 – 2016: Member, Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Scientific Advisory Committee


  • 2019: Book co-editor for “Muscle Gene Therapy” 2nd edition (Springer, New York, NY)
  • 2011: Book editor for “Muscle Gene Therapy: Methods and Protocols”  (Humana Press, New York, NY)
  • 2010: Book editor for “Muscle Gene Therapy” (Springer, New York, NY)


  • 2021: Curators’ Distinguished Professor
  • 2020: Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • 2019: Fellow, National Academy of Inventors
  • 2017: Excellence in Research Mentoring of Trainees Award, University of Missouri, School of Medicine
  • 2017: Honorary Medical Alumni Award, University of Missouri
  • 2009: Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity, University of Missouri
  • 2008: Margaret Proctor Mulligan Professor, University of Missouri
  • 2006: Outstanding New Investigator Award, American Society of Gene Therapy
  • 2004: Spurgeon Distinguished Medical Research Award, University of Missouri







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