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Professor Gillian Griffiths

My research

When cells in our bodies are infected by viruses, or become cancerous, killer cells of the immune system identify and destroy the affected cells. These cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) are very precise and efficient killers, leaving healthy cells unharmed. We aim to uncover the mechanisms controlling secretion from CTL and natural killer cells. By understanding how this works, we can develop ways to control the 'killer' cells of the immune system. This will allow us to find ways to improve cancer therapies, and ameliorate autoimmune diseases caused when killer cells run amok and attack healthy cells in our bodies.

My journey

The best thing that ever happened to me was having my two sons: not only did they bring enormous happiness with them, but they also taught me how to focus and be productive in the limited time available in lab.  Three things were particularly important.  First was the partnership with my husband in supporting each other as well as our children while life was hectic on all fronts.  The other two life-changing factors were the purchase of the largest washing machine available, and the arrival of home deliveries for groceries from my favourite supermarket!

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