ILS2 Internal Atrium
William Griffiths Profile Picture

Professor William Griffiths

Professor in Mass Spectrometry, Biomedical Sciences

Telephone number

+44 (0) 1792 295562

Welsh language proficiency

Basic Welsh Speaker

Research Links

Open Plan Office - 303
Third Floor
Institute of Life Science 1
Singleton Campus
Available For Postgraduate Supervision


Professor William J Griffiths (WJG) in combination with Professor Yuqin Wang leads the Swansea University Oxysterol Research Group. The group’s research focus is the study of cholesterol biosynthesis and metabolism and how it varies in health and disease, particularly neurodegenerative disease. The group uses and develops advanced mass spectrometry methods to achieve this goal. 

WJG recieved his BSc and PhD in Chemistry from Univerity College, Cardiff, at that time part of the University of Wales.  He was trained in biomedical mass spectrometry at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm from which he gained a University teaching qualification.  WJG has held academic positions at the University of the West Indies, Kingston Jamaica; Karolinska Institute; and The School of Pharmacy, University of London.  WJG moved to Swansea in 2007 to take the Chair of Mass Spectrometry in the Medical School.

WJG's research interests are in lipidomics, bile acid biosynthesis and lipid biochemistry, particularly in relation to neurodegenerative disease and the immune system.  WJG has more than 250 publications with more than 7,000 citations.  WJG has edited two books.  WJG sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Lipid Reseach and of Clinical Mass Spectrometry.  WJG is a member of the International Lipid Maps nomenclature committee.

WJG played international rugby union for Jamaica during his time at the University of the West Indies. 

Areas Of Expertise

  • Cholesterol metabolism
  • Oxysterols
  • Bile acids
  • In-born errors of cholesterol metabolism
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Mass spectrometry imaging
  • Lipidomics
  • Neurodegenerative disease

Career Highlights

Teaching Interests

WJG teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate students in the fields of lipid biochemistry and biomedical mass spectrometry.  WJG is the Swansea representative to the management group of the South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership funded by BBSRC.


William Griffiths Research Image

WJG’s primary research interest is cholesterol biosynthesis and metabolism and the importance of these processes for health and how their disturbance leads to disease. 

Current projects involve (i) mapping of how cholesterol metabolism varies across different regions of brain, according to age, and in health and disease, (ii) investigating if the levels of cholesterol metabolites in biofluids may provide a marker of progression of different neurodegenerative diseases and (iii) exploiting mass spectrometry imaging for tissue analysis    

More details of WJG’s research can be found in the YouTube video.

Award Highlights
William Griffiths Award Image

2016- Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry 

1994- Awarded Visiting Scientific Fellowship from Karolinska Institutet 

1992- Awarded Visiting Scientific Fellowship from the Swedish Medical Research Council. 


WJG's main collaborator is Professor Yuqin Wang also in Swansea.  Other collaborators include Dr Spyridos Theofliopoulos and Owain Howell in Swansea; Professor Malcolm Clench in Shefflield; Professor Ruth Andrew and Dr Joyce Yau in Edinburgh; Dr Anders Ohman, Lars Forsgren and Miles Trupp in Umea; Professors Ernest Arenas and Ingemar Bjorkem in Stockholm; and Professor Rima Kaddurah-Daouk at Duke University, USA.  WJG has collaborated with industry including GlaxoSmithKline, Novaris and Markes International; the NHS including Great Ormond Street Hospital and Saint Mary's Hospital Manchester and medical professionals from Hong Kong to Houston.