May 13, 2020

Professor Paula Dore-Duffy, Ph.D., wins alma mater’s lifetime achievement award

Simmons University of Boston has awarded alumna Paula Dore-Duffy, Ph.D., the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award, given to undergraduate alumnae whose career accomplishments have brought them to the top of their field.

Paula Dore Duffy
Paula Dore-Duffy, Ph.D.

Dr. Dore-Duffy, who graduated with a bachelor of science degree from the women’s college in 1972, has been a professor of Neurology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine since 1988. She was accepted to Wayne State’s Academy of Scholars in 2008. The academy is a community of interdisciplinary faculty members dedicated to raising the academic prestige of the university.

Dr. Dore-Duffy's research interests include neuroimmunology of the central nervous system disorders, and the physiology of the blood brain barrier and the role it plays in neurological diseases, including multiple sclerosis. She developed techniques to isolate the CNS vascular pericyte, an integral cellular constituent of the neurovascular unit. She is considered one of the leading experts in the field.

“This particular cell has a great potential to be useful therapeutically and to understand how it relates to disease activity,” she said.

Her laboratory is investigating the use of pericyte cells as an approach to therapeutic intervention in neurodegenerative disease, hearing disorders and brain cancer.

Dr. Dore-Duffy was elected and is a fellow of the American Neurological Association. She also is a member of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Scientific Advisory Board, and has served on scientific review committees for the National Institutes of Health, National MS Society, U.S. Department of Defense and several international research foundations. She is deputy editor of the Journal of Neurological Sciences and sits on the editorial board of several journals. She received the WSU Gershenson Faculty Fellow Research award in 2011.

Dr. Dore-Duffy was nominated for her work in the field of multiple sclerosis research by a fellow Simmons University graduate who lived across the hall from her and developed the disease later in life.

“She told me that she nominated me, and she read the letter, which almost made me cry,” she added.

Dr. Dore-Duffy earned her doctorate from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in 1976, and has been funded throughout her career by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the National Institutes of Health, the Kroc Foundation, various pharmaceutical companies and private philanthropy. She served for many years as research director for the WSU Multiple Sclerosis Center.