Staff profile

Dr Aparna Duggirala

Lecturer in Clinical Genetics

Aparna Duggirala


Biomedical Science and Human Biology


College of Science and Engineering


School of Human Sciences

Research centre

Human Sciences Research Centre




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am a molecular geneticist with a strong background in cell and molecular biology. I completed my PhD in Biotechnology (2009) from Birla Institute of technology and Science at L.V. Prasad Eye Institute Hyderabad, India. From 2009-2012 I worked for a Indo-UK collaborative Wellcome Trust project on genetics and epigenetics of type 2 diabetes and maternal nutrition at CCMB (Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology), Hyderabad, India.

In 2012, I moved to the University of Bristol, UK, on a GEoCoDE (Genetics and epigenetics of complex disease epidemiology) fellowship and worked on investigating methylation quantitative trait loci across the human life course. At the University of Bristol (2013-2018), I worked as research associate in British Heart Foundation projects which are directed towards investigating molecular pathology of cardiovascular diseases.

I am a Lecturer in Clinical Genetics at University of Derby, where I perform biomarker discovery and teach undergraduate and post graduate students on human metabolic diseases. 

Teaching responsibilities

I teach across many modules across the Biomedical Science, Human Biology and Forensic Science programmes. I am also the module lead for Level Four (first year) Clinical genetics and Level 5 Diagnostic Molecular Biology modules.

I supervise Level 6 and Level 7 Independent study students. In addition, I co-supervise a PhD student in performing and planning the PhD studies. My IS students and the PhD student achieved best research paper presentation in the respective conferences in the year 2021-22. 

Research interests

My main research focus is to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in the progression of a metabolic disease. Current research projects in my lab can be categorised into Basic Science and Translational reserach projects. 

Translational research projects

  1. Collaborative project with Clinicians to understand the  Metabolomic profiles of obese patients treated with Liraglutide (GLP1-RA)
  2. Deciphering the molecular signatures associated with obese patients who respond to weight loss drugs

Basic Science research project

  1. Intensive insulin therapy in obese individuals with insulin resistance upregulates pro atherosclerotic markers - an invitro study
  2. To investigate the role of white adipocyte tissue derived exosomal miRNA in mediating the obesity related cardiovascular disease

In addition to my research interest, I also lead the genomics wing located at Facility for OMICS research in metabolism (FORM) at  University of Derby.  

Membership of professional bodies

Fellow Institute of Biomedical Science (FIBMS)


Recent publications


Spencer L, Dimitriadis G K, Duggirala A, Bate D, Davasgaium A, Al-Hasani, D Miras Alexander, Carel Vincent R, Randeva Harpal, Tripathi G. 3 mg Liraglutide ameliorates inflammation and improves hypothalamic regulation of energy homeostasis by modulation of Sphingosine-1-Phosphate signalling in super-responders, BES adstract 2021.


Claire Hudson, Tomomi E. Kimura, Aparna Duggirala, Graciela B. Sala-Newby, Andrew C. Newby & Mark Bond. Dual Role of Creb in The Regulation of VSMC Proliferation: Mode of Activation Determines Pro- or Anti-Mitogenic Function. Scientific Reports. Accepted on 8 March 2018.


Gaunt TR, Shihab HA, Hemani G, Min JL, Woodward G, Lyttleton O, Zheng J, Duggirala A, McArdle WL, Ho K, Ring SM, Evans DM, Davey Smith G, Relton CL. Systematic identification of genetic influences on methylation across the human life course. Genome Biol. 2016 Mar 31; 17:61.

Kimura TE, Duggirala A, Smith MC, White S, Sala-Newby GB, Newby AC, Bond M The Hippo pathway mediates inhibition of vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation by cAMP. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2016 Jan;90:1-10


Relton CL, Gaunt T, McArdle W, Ho K, Duggirala A, Shihab H, Woodward G, Lyttleton O, Evans DM, Reik W, Paul YL, Ficz G, Ozanne SE, Wipat A, Flanagan K, Lister A, Heijmans BT, Ring SM, Davey Smith G. Data Resource Profile: Accessible Resource for Integrated Epigenomic Studies (ARIES). Int J Epidemiol. 2015 Aug; 44(4):1181-90.

Duggirala A, Delogu F, Angelini TG, Smith T, Caputo M, Rajakaruna C, Emanueli C.Non coding RNAs in aortic aneurysmal disease. Front Genet. 2015 Apr 1;6; 125.

Smith MC , Duggirala A, Kimura TE, Sala-Newby GB Newby AC , M. Bond. Cytoskeletal remodelling and inhibition of MKL dependent transcription underlies the anti-mitogenic effects of cAMP in smooth muscle cells Abstracts / Atherosclerosis 244 (2016) e1ee12

Duggirala A, Kimura TE, Graceila Newby, Newby AC, Bond M. cAMP inhibits expression of the proangiogenic factor CCN1/CYR61 in vascular smooth muscle cells by inhibiting RhoA and actin-dependent regulation of MRTF. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2015 Feb; 79: 157-68.


Kimura TE, Duggirala A, Hindmarch CC, Hewer RC, Cui MZ, Newby AC, Bond M. Inhibition of Egr1 expression underlies the anti-mitogenic effects of cAMP in vascular smooth muscle cells. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2014 Feb 15; 72C: 9-19.

Elliott HR, Tillin T, McArdle WL, Ho K, Duggirala A, Frayling TM, Davey Smith G, Hughes AD, Chaturvedi N, Relton CL Differences in smoking associated DNA methylation patterns in South Asians and Europeans. Clin Epigenetics. 2014 Feb 3; 6(1):4.


Elliott HR, Walia GK, Duggirala A, Groom A, Umakar SR, Chandak GR, Gupta V, Laakso M, Dekker JM, The RISC Consortium, Walker M, Ebrahim S, Davey Smith G, Relton CL. Migration and DNA methylation : A comparison of methylation patterns in type 2 diabetes susceptibility genes between Indians and Europeans. Journal of Diabetes Research and Clinical metabolism; 2012


Kenchappa P, Duggirala A, Sharma S, Das TP, Garg P and Hasnain SE. "Phenotypic and Genotypic characterization of Coagulase Negative Staphylococci (CoNS) other than Staphylococcus epidermidis isolated from Ocular Infections". Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences; 2011 52(12):9018-22


Duggirala A, Kenchappa P, Sharma S, Das TP, Garg P and Hasnain SE. High-resolution genome profiling of ocular isolates of Staphylococcus epidermidis from patients with keratitis and endophthalmitis and from normal asymptomatic subjects. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences; 2007: (48) 3239-3245.

Duggirala A, Joseph J, Sharma S, Nutheti R, Garg P, Das TP. Activity of newer fluoroquinolones against gram positive and gram-negative bacteria isolated from ocular infections: an in vitro comparison. Indian journal of ophthalmology; 2007 : 55(1):15-9


Kenchappa P, Duggirala A, Ahmed N , Pathengay A, Das TP, Hasnain SE, Sharma S. FAFLP genotyping demonstrates the role of biofilm producing methicillin resistant periocular Staphylococcus epidermidis strains in Postoperative Endophthalmitis. BMC Ophthalmology, 6:1. 5,

Subhan S, Jose RJ, Duggirala A, Hari R, Krishna PV, Reddy SB. Diagnosis of Herpes simplex virus-1 keratitis: Comparison of Giemsa stain, Immunofluorescence Assay and Polymerase Chain Reaction. Curr Eye Res. 2004; 29:20