Department Biologie I, Ber. Mikrobiologie
Großhaderner Str. 2-4
+49 (0)89 / 2180-74632
I completed a degree in Human Biology at Oxford Polytechnic in 1988 and then a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Kent in 1995. I then became a Humboldt Fellow at the Institute of Physiology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich for a year followed by postdoctoral research associate positions at the University of Arizona and the University of Cambridge. I then returned to Munich in 2000 to become a group leader in Dieter Oesterhelt’s Department of Membrane Biochemistry for five years. On returning to the UK, I worked briefly for Professor Sir John E. Walker at the Dunn Human Nutrition Unit (now the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit) on the expression of membrane components of the mitochondrial ATP Synthase. Since that time I have worked as a senior scientist in James Locke’s group in the Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University, and Danielle Tullman-Ercek’s group, first at the University of California, Berkeley, and then at Northwestern University, Evanston. I am currently a senior biochemist in AG Cordes.
My interests have centred on the structure and function of membrane transporter and receptor proteins. In Dieter Oesterhelt’s department, I developed a novel approach to improving membrane protein expression by exploiting cellular stress signalling pathways involved in protein quality-control to optimize synthesis rates of recombinant membrane proteins so as to better utilize the intrinsic protein folding capacity of host cells. Membrane proteins produced in this manner were purified and attempts made to crystallize them with the ultimate goal of a complete elucidation of their structures and molecular mechanisms.
More recently, my interests have expanded to include synthetic biology. In James Locke’s lab, I continued to pursue an interest in recombinant protein expression, but in this case the goal was to investigate gene expression dynamics at the single cell level using time-lapse fluorescence microscopy. And in Danielle Tullman-Ercek’s lab, I used synthetic biology approaches in metabolic engineering efforts to increase cytoplasmic acetyl-CoA levels in S. cerevisiae by the strategic expression of acetyl-CoA transporters. In my current position as a senior researcher in the AG Cordes, I am using single-molecule methods to investigate the conformational dynamics and function of membrane transporters.
Patange, O., Schwall, C., Jones, M., Villava, C., Griffith, D.A., Phillips, A., Locke, J.C.W. (2018) Nat. Commun. 17;9(1):5333. Escherichia coli can survive stress by noisy growth modulation.
Davis López, S.A., Griffith, D.A., Choi, B., Cate, J.H.D., and Tullman-Ercek D. (2018) Biotechnol. Biofuels 11:90. Evolutionary engineering improves tolerance for medium-chain alcohols in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Acerra, N., Kad, N.M., Griffith, D.A., Ott, S., Crowther, D.C., and Mason, J.M. (2014) Biochemistry 3(13):2101-11. Retro-inversal of intracellular selected β-amyloid-interacting peptides: implications for a novel Alzheimer's disease treatment.
Griffith, D.A., Delipala, C., Leadsham, J., Jarvis, S.M. and Oesterhelt, D. (2003) FEBS Lett. 553, 45-50. A Novel Yeast Expression System for the Overproduction of Quality-Controlled Membrane Proteins.
Griffith, D.A. and Pajor A.M. (1999) Biochemistry 38:7524-7531. Acidic residues involved in cation and substrate interactions in the Na+/dicarboxylate cotransporter, NaDC-1.