Dr Chris Young

Job: VC2020 Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Allied Health Sciences

Address: 0.24 Edith Murphy Building, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 5RR

T: +44 (0)0116 207 8166

E: chris.young@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.researchgate.net/profile/Chris_Young8

Social Media: https://twitter.com/chrisnjyoung?lang=en


Personal profile

Dr. Young is a Vice Chancellor’s Lecturer in Biomedical Science in the School of Allied Health Sciences at DMU. He completed his PhD in Molecular Medicine at the University of Portsmouth under the supervision of Professor Darek Gorecki, where he made several significant discoveries including the elucidation of the first known physiolocial function for the P2X7 large pore - autophagy. Dr Young also characterised purinergic signalling responses in dystrophic muscle-immune interactions, demonstrating the therapeutic potential of P2X7 antagonists for repurposing as drugs to treat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). More recently Dr Young also discovered the first ever direct immune target in DMD muscle - ectopic calcium phosphate, highlighting the potential for novel targetted therapeutics to treat this debilitating and devastating disease. 

Dr Young's expertise focusses on skeletal muscle pathologies and skeletal muscle in vitro modelling. Dr Young leads a research group with the goal of elucidating the role of autophagy in skeletal muscle stem cells. Discoveries in this area have therapeutic potential extending to muscle disease, muscle ageing, sporting/battlefield soft tissue injuries, rhabdomyosarcoma, diabetes and liver disease. 

Research group affiliations

  • Cell Signalling
  • Biomedical & Environmental Health
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Pharmacology

Publications and outputs

For an up to date list of Dr Young's publications please see: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Chris_Young8

Key research outputs

Cassidy, L.D., Young, A.R.J., Young, C.N.J., Soilleux, E.J., Fielder, E., Weigand, B.M., Lagnado, A., Brais, R., Ktistakis, N.T., Wiggins, K.A., Pyrillou, K., Clarke, M.C.H., Jurk, D., Passos, J.F. and Narita, M. (2020) Temporal inhibition of autophagy reveals segmental reversal of ageing with increased cancer risk. Nature Communications, 11, 307.

Young, C.N.J., Gosselin, R.F.M., Rumney, R., Oksiejuk, A., Chira, N.,Bozycki, L., Matryba, P., Lukasiewicz, K., Kao, A.P., Dunlop, J., Robson, S.C., Zablocki, K., Gorecki, D.C. (2020). Total absence of dystrophin expression exacerbates ectopic myofiber calcification, fibrosis, and alters macrophage infiltration patterns. The American Journal of Pathology, 190(1): 190-205.

Young, C.N.J& Gorecki, D.C. (2018) P2RX7 Purinoceptor as a therapeutic target - the second coming? Frontiers in Chemistry. 6, 248.

Young, C.N.J., Sinadinos, A., Lefebvre, A., Chan, P., Arkle, D., Vaudry, D., Gorecki, D. (2015). A novel mechanism of autophagic cell death in dystrophic muscles via P2RX7 receptor large pore formation and Hsp90. Autophagy. 11(1): 113-130

Sinadinos, A., Young, C.N.J., Al-Khalidi, R., Teti, A., Kalinski, P., Mohamad, S., Floriot, L., Henry, T., Tozzi, G., Jiang, T., Wurtz, O., Lefebvre, A., Tong, J., Vaudry, D., Arkle, S., doRego, JC., Gorecki, D. (2015). P2X7 purinoceptor ablation ameliorates muscle and non-muscle pathology in the mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. PLOS Medicine.12(10): e1001888. 

Research interests/expertise

  • The role of autophagy in skeletal muscle stem cells.
  • Novel therapeutics for the treatment of Duchenne Muscualr Dystrophy.
  • Skeletal muscle models for drug testing.
  • Pathways and responses to ectopic calcium formation in skeletal muscle in response to injury & disease.
  • P2X7 receptor signalling, large pore formation and function, P2X7-autophagy signalling, P2X7 large pore formation as a novel therapeutic target in cancer.     

Areas of teaching

  • Chemistry for the Biosciences
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology
  • Cyto & Histopathology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Clinical Genetics
  • Cancer Biology
  • Research Projects (Module Lead)
  • 1st Year Coordinator
  • Timetabling Coordinator, BMS


  • 2007-2011 PhD, Molecular Medicine, University of Portsmouth, UK.

  • 2006-2007 MSc, Genetic Manipulation and Molecular Cell Biology (Distinction), University of Sussex, UK.

  • 2003-2006 BSc, Biochemistry and Organic Chemistry (First Class Honours), The Open University.

Courses taught

  • BSc Biomedical Science

Honours and awards

Future Research Leader Scholarship, 2020

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Member of the UK Purine Club

Professional licences and certificates

Fellow of the HEA

Conference attendance

Current research students

  • PhD, Caitlin Ditchfield
  • MRes, Marta Geborys
  • MSc, Hasan Bapu

Externally funded research grants information

P2X7 receptor as a target for treatment in Duchenne Muscualr Dystrophy. Gorecki, D.C. & Young, C.N.J. Muscular Dystrophy Association: £149,294.00. Award date: 26/03/14.

Trans-Channel Advanced Microscopy Network. Gorecki, D.C., & Young, C.N.J. European Commission: £299,829.00. Award date: 12/02/09.

Internally funded research project information

Developing a new 3D muscle model for in vitro drug testing. Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF), 2020, £4.8k.

The role of autophagy in skeletal muscle stem cells. Fully funded faculty PhD student bursary with bench fees, 2019, £50k.

Vice Chancellor's Early Career Fellowship, 2018.

Professional esteem indicators

  • Reviewer for the Journal of Cellular Physiology & Biochemistry
  • Reveiwer for multiple MDPI journals 
Chris Young profile pic (002)