Aug. 2, 2020
Each year, UNC celebrates the central role of teaching and mentoring by recognizing faculty, staff and students. The University Committee on Teaching Awards offers a number of awards based on nominations by members of the...Read More
Jan. 17, 2020
The dean of the Gillings School of Global Public Health and the former director of the Institute of Government were recognized Friday with the GAA’s Faculty Service Award. The GAA Board of Directors presented the...Read More
Dec. 2, 2019
Three Carolina faculty members are among 443 scientists selected this year as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its...Read More
Griffith is one of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates being recognized for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Scientists are elected by their peers, and NAS membership is one of the highest scientific honors conferred in the U.S.
Griffith has conducted extensive research using high-resolution electron microscopy to visualize protein-DNA interactions. His laboratory’s work seeks to answer basic questions of how DNA and proteins interact in cancer and other diseases.
Griffith, who grew up in Alaska, received his bachelor’s degree in physics at Occidental College in Los Angeles and his doctorate at the California Institute of Technology. Following postdoctoral fellowships in laboratories at Stanford and Cornell, he joined Lineberger and UNC’s School of Medicine as an associate professor in 1978.
During his graduate studies, Griffith used electron microscopy to visualize DNA polymerase I, a key protein E. coli uses to replicate its DNA. It was the first image taken by an electron microscope of DNA bound to a known protein. In 1999, Griffith and a colleague at Rockefeller University used electron microscopy to demonstrate that the ends of human chromosomes are looped back on themselves, providing a crucial new understanding with direct relevance to aging and cancer. His Lineberger laboratory serves as an electron microscopy core facility, offering its expertise in visualizing the microscopic world to further research across laboratories.
He has received numerous awards and honors, including election into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005.