Professor George Griffin is a Professor of Infectious Diseases and Medicine at St George's.
His research has focussed on the host response to infection at cell, molecular and whole body level. Such work involves immune and metabolic responses in vivo in humans. Furthermore cell and molecular studies include culture of human mucosal explants and definition of macrophage activation in vitro by microbial agents. A macrophage is a cell which ingests particles (microorganisms or host cells) for destruction and immune presentation. It is important in intracellular infection and also produces cytokines (a category of signaling molecules) as part of the immune response.
Professor Griffin's principal clinical contributions to knowledge have been in the characterisation of intestinal disease in HIV infection, mechanism of weight loss in HIV and definition of loss of mucosal immune response in advanced HIV infection. The dominant cell and molecular achievements have been the characterisation of NF-kBas, a crucial factor maintaining macrophage differentiation and the role this transcription factor plays during tuberculosis infection of the macrophage and the mechanism of enhanced HIV transcription in such cells. More recently he has characterised the role of co-infection of HIV infected cells with herpes virus in enhanced HIV transcription in the genital epithelium.
Professor Griffin read Preclinical Sciences at King’s College London where he was awarded the Delegacy Prize in Pharmacology and gained BSc in Pharmacology and Molecular Biology. He was awarded PhD in Cell Biology/Biochemistry, University of Hull, and returned to clinical studies at St George’s where he was awarded the MBBS. Professor Griffin’s postgraduate training paralleled basic and clinical science. During this time, he was awarded a Harkness Fellowship of the Commonwealth Fund of New York at Harvard Medical School. On return to the UK, he continued clinical training at Royal Postgraduate Medical School where he was tutor in Medicine, and the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases. He then returned to St George’s as lecturer and was awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Lectureship and became consultant physician on the Clinical Infection Unit where he was instrumental in developing an internationally renowned research unit twinned to the Clinical Unit. He held prestigious research fellowships in the University of Michigan and National Institutes of Health.
He has chaired scientific advisory boards in major pharmaceutical industry in the USA and UK. He has been chair and member of major Wellcome, Medical Research Council and Gates Foundation committees. He was censor at the Royal College of Physicians and was made a member of the Academy of Medical Sciences in which he has been elected to become foreign secretary and council member. He was appointed to the board of Public Health England where he will help shape strategy for research and clinical development.
Hu K, Luo S, Tong L, Huang X, Jing W, Huang W, Du T, Yan Y, He S, Griffin GE, Shattock RJ, Hu Q*. CCL19 and CCL28 augment mucosal and systemic immune responses to HIV-1 gp140 by mobilizing responsive immunocytes into secondary lymph nodes and mucosal tissue. J Immunol, 2013 Jul 15. [Epub ahead of print].
Du T, Hu Kai, Yang, Jing Jin, Chang Li, Daniel Stieh, George Griffin, Robin Shattock, Qinxue Hu. Bifunctional CD4-DC-SIGN fusion proteins demonstrate enhanced avidity to gp120 and inhibit HIV-1 infection and dissemination. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 2012 Sep; 56(9):4640-9. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00623-12. Epub 2012 Jun 11. PMID: 22687513.
Huang W, Hu K, Luo S, Li C, Jin W, Liu Y, Griffin GE, Shattock RJ, Hu Q. HSV-2 infection of human epithelial cells induces CXCL9 expression and CD4 T cell migration via activation of p38-C/EBP-β pathway. J. Immunol, 188 (12) 6247-57, 2012.
Huang X, Jin W, Hu K, Luo S, Du T, Griffin GE, Shattock RJ, Hu Q. Highly conserved HIV-1 gp120 glycans proximal to CD4-binding region affect viral infectivity and neutralizing antibody induction. Virology, 2012, 423(1) 97-106.
Cooper PJ, Chico ME, Guadalupe I, Sandoval CA, Mitre E, Platts-Mills TA, Barreto ML, Rodrigues LC, Strachan DP, Griffin GE. Impact of early life exposures to geohelminth infections on the development of vaccine immunity, allergic sensitization, and allergic inflammatory diseases in children living in tropical Ecuador: the ECUAVIDA birth cohort study. BMC Infect Dis. 2011 Jun 29; 11(1):184.
Jindani A, Griffin GE. Challenges to the development of new drugs and regimens for tuberculosis. Tuberculosis (Edinburgh) 93(3) 168-170 2010.
Griffin GE, Leung K, Folks TM, Kunkel S, Nabel GJ: Activation of HIV gene expression during monocyte differentiation by induction of NF-kB. Nature; 1990; 339: 70-73.
Lewis DJM, Novotny P, Dougan G, Griffin GE: The early cellular and humoral immune response to primary and booster oral immunisation with cholera toxin B-subunit. Europ J Immunol, 1991; 21: 2087-2094.
Lawn SD, Roberts BD, Griffin GE, Folks TM, Butera ST: Cellular compartments of HIV-1 replication in vivo: Determination by presence of virion-assisted host proteins and impact of opportunistic infection. J Virol, 2000; 74: 139-145.
Professor Mike Levine (University of Baltimore, Maryland, USA)
Professor Gary Nabel (Sanofi, USA)
Professor Griffin is a clinical teacher and examiner of undergraduate students.
Professor Griffin has supervised 15 higher degree students. Ten of these are now tenured professors.