Full Name  Rory Duncan
Phone  +44 (0)131 451 3414
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Address 1.51
David Brewster Building
Heriot-Watt University
EH14 4AS
United Kingdom


Rory is an ESRIC PI and a cell biologist who uses biophysical techniques to study the molecular mechanisms that drive exocytosis. He also applies advances in photonics to develop both new imaging approaches and translational tools, like non-invasive diagnostics for cataract, respiratory and neurological diseases. He has a broad understanding of imaging, using TIRFM, dSTORM, PALM and gated STED in his research programmes, with a particular focus also on imaging spectroscopies like FLIM and FCS.

Tracks RoryHundreds of thousands of single molecule tracks at the plasma membrane of a neuroendocrine cell imaged using sptPALM and anlaysed using custom-made tracking algorithms.

Some relevant publications:

  • Rhodri S. Wilson, Lei Yang, Alison Dun, Annya M. Smyth, Duncan, R.R. Colin Rickman, Weiping Lu, Automated single particle detection and tracking for large microscopy datasets. 18 May 2016. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160225 Royal Society Open Science.
  • Broadhead MJ, Horrocks MH, Zhu F, Muresan L, Benavides-Piccione R, DeFelipe J, Fricker D, Kopanitsa MV, Duncan RR, Klenerman D, Komiyama NH, Lee SF, Grant SG. PSD95 nanoclusters are postsynaptic building blocks in hippocampus circuits. 2016 Apr 25; 6:24626. doi: 10.1038/srep24626. Scientific Reports.
  • Qiu, Z., Wilson, R. S., Liu, Y., Dun A ., Saleeb, R. S., Liu, D., RickmanC., Frame, M., DuncanR. & Lu, W. Translation Microscopy (TRAM)for super-resolution imaging.29 Jan 2016;6, 19993. Scientific Reports. 
  • Li, C, Faulkner-Jones, A, Dun, AR, Jin, J, Chen, P, Xing, Y, Yang, Z, Zhibo Li, Shu, W, *, Liu, D, and Duncan, RR. A Rapid-formed Supramolecular Polypeptide-DNA Hydrogel for in-situ Multi-layer 3D Bio-printing. 2015; 54(13): 3829–4123. Angewandte Int Chem.
  • Kavanagh, D.M., Smyth, A.M., Martin, K.J., Dun, A., Brown, E.R., Gordon, S., Smillie, K.J., Chamberlain, L.H., Wilson, R.S., Yang, L., Lu, W., Cousin, M.A., Rickman, C., Duncan, R.R. A molecular toggle after exocytosis sequesters the presynaptic syntaxin1a molecules involved in prior vesicle fusion (2014) Nat Commun. 2014 Dec 17;5:5774
  • Duncan, R.R., Rickman, C. Functional, quantitative, and super-resolution imaging and spectroscopic approaches for studying exocytosis (2014) Neuromethods, 83, pp. 75-91.
  • Hiersemenzel, K., Brown, E.R., Duncan, R.R.  Imaging large cohorts of single ion channels and their activity. (2013), 4 (SEP), art. no. Article 114. Frontiers in Endocrinology.
  • Mackenzie, M.D., Choudhury, D., Paterson, L., Duncan, R.R., Kar, A.K. Femtosecond pumping of eGFP transfected human embryonic kidney cells. Pacific Rim Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, 2013 art. no. 6600621. CLEO - Technical Digest,
  • Smyth, A.M., Yang, L., Martin, K.J., Hamilton, C., Lu, W., Cousin, M.A., Rickman, C., Duncan, R.R. Munc18-1 protein molecules move between membrane molecular depots distinct from vesicle docking sites (2013) Journal of Biological Chemistry, 288 (7), pp. 5102-5113.