Andrew Griffiths

Andrew Griffiths

Function: Director
Period: Permanent
Laboratory: LBC
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Biography:
From 1989 to 1994 Andrew Griffiths (AG) published a series of seminal papers9-16 (2 with over 1000 citations, and 7 with over 500 citations) on the development of phage-display to select human antibodies for therapeutic applications. However, phage display is poorly suited for the selection of catalytic and regulatory activities. Hence, from 1995 to 2004, in collaboration with Dr. Dan Tawfik, he developed a novel system for directed evolution based on in vitro compartmentalization (IVC)17. Instead of linking genotype and phenotype by compartmentalizing genes in cells, as in nature, in IVC the genes are compartmentalized in aqueous microdroplets in emulsions. IVC also led to emulsion PCR, which is used in three commercially available next-generation sequencing systems18-20. Since 2005 he has been developing droplet-based microfluidic systems for directed evolution and other applications. AG has published 68 papers in peer-reviewed journals, with a total of 8815 citations (129.63 citations per article) and has an h-index of 35. He is an inventor on key patents covering the use of phage-display for the selection of human antibodies which led directly to the creation of two Companies, Cambridge Antibody Technology (acquired by AstraZeneca for $1.32 billion) and Domantis (acquired by GSK for $0.45 billion). Phage-display was used by Cambridge Antibody Technology to create the blockbuster drug Humira® for Abbott, which is used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases and which had sales of $4.5 billion in 2008. He co-founded the droplet-based microfluidics company RainDance Technologies who have successfully commercialized a system for targeted sequencing.
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