Gillian Griffiths is Professor of Immunology and Cell Biology and a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, University of Cambridge. Her research focusses on how ‘killer’ cells of the body’s immune system fight off cancerous or infected cells. Her work opens possibilities for controlling these killer cells, elucidating the fundamental mechanisms that could lead to improved cancer therapies and strategies for relieving autoimmune diseases caused by the immune system mistakenly targeting healthy cells.
Gillian studied initially with Cesar Milstein, subsequently training further in immunology at Stanford, USA. She has led her own research programmes at the Basel Institute for Immunology, Switzerland, University College London, Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and was Director of the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research 2013-2018. Her research has been recognized with Fellowship of the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences and membership of the European Molecular Biology Organisation. She serves on many academic scientific advisory boards, has co-authored reports for the Academy of Medical Sciences and is currently Chair of the Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship panel at the Royal Society. In 2019 she was awarded the Royal Society Buchanan Medal for establishing the fundamental cell biological mechanisms that drive cytotoxic T-cell killing, laying the foundations for informed application of cancer immunotherapy.