Professor Duff gained his PhD in theoretical physics in 1972 at Imperial College under Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam.
He returned to Imperial College as a member of staff in 1979, taking leave of absence to visit the Theory Division at CERN, first in 1982 and then again as a Staff Member from 1984 to 1987 when he became Senior Physicist. He took up his professorship at Texas A&M University in 1988 and was appointed Distinguished Professor in 1992. In 1999 he became Oskar Klein Professor of Physics at the University of Michigan and was elected to serve as first Director of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics 2000-2005. In 2005 he returned once more to Imperial where he has served as Principal of the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Abdus Salam Professor of Theoretical Physics. He is now Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics and Senior Research Investigator.
Michael's interests lie in unified theories of the elementary particles, quantum gravity, supergravity, Kaluza-Klein theory, superstrings, supermembranes, M-theory and quantum information theory. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts and Recipient of the 2004 Meeting Gold Medal, El Colegio Nacional, Mexico.