Professor Darren Griffin
Professor of Genetics
School of Biosciences
Professor Griffin is a world leader in cytogenetics (the study of chromosomes).
Highlights of his achievements include the first successful cytogenetic diagnosis of an IVF embryo, the establishment of a paternal age effect for cytogenetic abnormalities, definition of the first complete cytogenetic constitution of a bird and, most recently, a significant role in the development of a universal test for any genetic disease in IVF embryos.
Professor Griffin has, throughout his academic career, been a champion of the role of research in informing high-quality teaching and amassed an impressive publication record in the development, application and evaluation of eLearning. He is a prolific science communicator, making every effort to make scientific research publicly accessible (both his own and others) and is an enthusiastic proponent for the benefits of interdisciplinary research endeavour.
Professor Griffin’s laboratory links cytogenetic studies in individual patients with those occurring during evolution, not only describing cytogenetic abnormalities but providing underlying biological reasons why they occur. The aim of the laboratory is to understand the role of cytogenetics in the earliest stages of mammalian development (sperm, eggs, embryos) and how that drives evolution.
Far from focusing on narrow objectives, however, Professor Griffin uses his research activity to facilitate wider university engagement in the field of reproduction – creating a unique multi-disciplinary academic activity with an outward-facing international profile, linking such diverse disciplines as biosciences, anthropology, conservation, psychology, art, philosophy, social policy and the law. He is Director of the University’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Reproduction (CISoR), which comprises several like-minded academics dedicated to the study of reproduction in all its forms.
Professor Griffin recently welcomed the go-ahead from the fertility regulator for UK scientists to genetically modify human embryos. Commenting on the February 2016 decision by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), he said it demonstrated that the UK now ‘leads the world’ in both the science and social science of research into early human development.
Professor Griffin is President of the International Chromosome and Genome Society. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, the Royal Society of Biology and the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce.
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