Helen Griffiths was appointed as Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey from December 2016. She is a member of the University Executive Board.
Helen graduated with first class BSc (Hons) degree in Biochemistry from Bath University in 1985. She gained her PhD on “Reactive oxygen species damage in rheumatoid arthritis” from the Faculty of Medicine at Birmingham University (1989). She has previously been an academic faculty member at Birmingham University, Leicester University and Aston University where she was awarded a personal Chair in Biomedical Sciences in 2005. She founded the Aston Centre for Healthy Ageing in 2009 and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology in 2011.
Helen served as Associate Dean for Research in the School of Life and Health Sciences between 2005 and 2009, was then appointed as Executive Dean of the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University from November 2009 to November 2014. She was appointed as Pro-Vice Chancellor International Relations in April 2015.
Affiliations and memberships
Helen has published over 150 peer reviewed papers. She has pursued an increase in understanding of the roles of nutrients in health, inflammatory and degenerative diseases that increase with ageing [3-5].
These studies have highlighted that a non-linear relationship exists between “vitamin E“ (alpha tocopherol) and periodontal health ; that carotenoids are lower in vascular dementia in a mnaner that is unrelated to intake ; and that the benefit of almonds, which are rich in alpha tocopherol, on vascular health is unrelated to antioxidant effects .
Most recent studies in this field have characterised the profile of dietary lipids  and their oxidised products in ageing and dementia , shedding new light of regulation of cellular metabolism.
- Use knowledge of silver consumer behaviour to support the uptake of personalised nutrition by older adults
- Develop services and systems that define individual nutritional needs based on lifestyle, genotype, activity and health status
- Design and implement systems that enable monitoring of nutritional health status in older adults
- Develop new foods that meet the nutritional, taste and mastication requirements for healthy older adults in health and those with chronic conditions associated with older age
- Develop meal packaging and preparation approaches that can be physically managed by older adults
- The adaptation and development of personal monitoring devices for reporting on the effect of meals on health indices
- Design and implementation of mobile apps that offer coaching on diet based on user-friendly but highly detailed data.
Helen’s research has always been carried out in collaboration with clinical and industrial collaborators with the goal to develop new knowledge that has impact for health. She has worked with Unilever for over 10 years and partners with Mologic Ltd and GSK.
Indicators of esteem
Editor for Redox Biology and Free Radical Research
Member of the Editorial Board of Biogerontology
Co-Chair of the Development Board of the British Society for Research on Ageing and Biogerontology
Chair of the British Society for Research on Ageing and Biogerontology (2013-16)
Member of the SFRR-E Council (2012-2016)
Secretary on the Executive Board of the Society for Free Radical Research (2008-2012)
Previously chaired a European Task force for Biomarkers of oxidative damage, in the EUROfeda programme funded under framework 6
- Pararasa C, Ikwuobe J, Shigdar S, Boukouvalas A, Nabney IT, Brown JE, Devitt A, Bailey CJ, Bennett SJ, Griffiths HR. Age-associated changes in long-chain fatty acid profile during healthy aging promote pro-inflammatory monocyte polarization via PPARγ. Aging Cell. 2016 Feb;15(1):128-39.
- Dias HK, Brown CL, Polidori MC, Lip GY, Griffiths HR. LDL-lipids from patients with hypercholesterolaemia and Alzheimer's disease are inflammatory to microvascular endothelial cells: mitigation by statin intervention. Clin Sci (Lond). 2015 Dec;129(12):1195-206.
- Zong G, Scott AE, Griffiths HR, Zock PL, Dietrich T, Newson RS. Serum α-Tocopherol Has a Nonlinear Inverse Association with Periodontitis among US Adults. J Nutr. 2015 May;145(5):893-9.
- Choudhury K, Clark J, Griffiths HR. An almond-enriched diet increases plasma α-tocopherol and improves vascular function but does not affect oxidative stress markers or lipid levels. Free Radic Res. 2014 May;48(5):599-606.
- Dias IH, Polidori MC, Li L, Weber D, Stahl W, Nelles G, Grune T, Griffiths HR. Plasma levels of HDL and carotenoids are lower in dementia patients with vascular comorbidities. J Alzheimers Dis. 2014;40(2):399-408.