Innovation and enterprise collaboration award
Professor Griffin’s work has led to the development of innovative approaches to the universal detection of genetic disease in human IVF embryos. In addition to ensuring families have improved IVF success and babies free from genetic disease, the approach (Karyomapping) has been adapted to farm animals and is delivering long-term enhancements to farm animal breeding.
The ultimate beneficiaries of this research and innovation are the general public, through the improvements that it delivers within the human food chain and the delivery of healthy babies. Direct contact with healthcare providers ensures maximum impact “from bench to bedside”.
Darren’s research has developed out of a unique cross-disciplinary collaboration between academia and a range of farming companies and IVF clinics. Industrial collaborators include: JSR Genetics, Topigs Norsvin, ActivET, Boviteq London Women’s Clinic, Cytocell, Digital Scientific, UK, Genus, Cooper Genomics, Oxford Gene Technologies, and Perkin Elmer.
In addition, Darren was instrumental in establishing the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies (CISoR), an ambitious public engagement programme that exists to overcome a lack of wider understanding of the role of reproductive research in humans and animals and its benefits.
The Biosciences-based activities have led to more than 10,000 media citations including international coverage, contributions to the Today Programme, front page national media headlines, and interviews with BBC news, BBC World Service, Sky News, BBC The Big Questions and BBC Sunday Morning. To date around 100 public talks have been performed, including initiation of a Café Scientifique series of informal public discussions about science within Canterbury.
In collaboration with Dr Becky O’Connor, Darren’s work has led to the development of a novel screening protocol for infertility in bulls and boars. Generating significant income generating activity it has supported PhD students and is rapidly towards the development of a spin-off company next year.