Professor John Griffiths D Phil, FRCP
Senior Group Leader & Co-Director of Imaging, CRUK Cambridge Institute.
John qualified in medicine and biochemistry at St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School, London, and then took a D Phil in Biochemistry at Oxford, supervised by Sir George Radda. Since then his career aim has been to use Magnetic Resonance technology to make fundamental discoveries about disease, and then to translate them into medical practice. He introduced the use of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy to monitor cancers in vivo, and since then his group has continued to work on the use of both that method and MR imaging for monitoring and treating cancer.
John founded the journal NMR in Biomedicine, and he continues to be its Editor-in-Chief. He was Professor of Biochemistry Applied to Medicine and honorary consultant physician at St George’s, University of London, and then Professor of Magnetic Resonance Applied to Cancer in Cambridge University and an honorary consultant in the Department of Radiology, Addenbrooke’s Hospital. He holds the European Magnetic Resonance Award in Basic Sciences and both the Gold and Silver medals of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
John Griffiths’ work on pancreas cancer has been concerned with development of methods to image the desmoplastic stroma. In collaboration with David Tuveson and Ken Olive, using an MRI contrast agent as a surrogate for an anticancer drug, they demonstrated very poor delivery to the pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas that arise in the preclinical KPC model. Subsequent work has suggested that the dense collagen matrix within both KPC tumours and human pancreatic cancers could be a barrier to drug uptake. The Griffiths group is therefore trying to develop imaging methods that will indicate the presence of that collagenous matrix and whether it responds to agents intended to break it up and allow anticancer drug access. They are also working on direct imaging of the effects of tumour cell kill using diffusion-weighted MRI.