March 19, 2020

Robert Griffin, Ph.D.

Department of Radiation Oncology
UAMS College of Medicine

Research Interest Statement

I have more than 20 years of experience as a radiation biologist doing cancer research, moving to UAMS in late 2006. Much of my work has been studying the interactions of normal and tumor microvasculature with tumor cells in the context of blood flow, hypoxia and the tumor microenvironment. Applied studies using various nanomaterials (e.g., nanoliposomes and various nanomedicines) for targeted delivery to the tumor vasculature to improve responses to radiation, thermal treatment, or chemotherapy have been a growing interest over the last 10+ years.

I have a number of recent publications on tumor-selective gold-based nanoparticles, some of which are in phase 2 clinical trials, to deliver drugs or be activated by laser or ionizing radiation. My laboratory published a number of peer-reviewed articles on the anti-angiogenic/vascular targeting of myeloma and breast cancer models and the development of labeled compounds for PET imaging of these tumor types or photoacoustic detection of particle-based nanodrugs with support of three prior NIH R01 grants.

Current collaborations with faculty at University of Arkansas and University of Minnesota are partially funded by an R01 from the National Institutes of Health to study predictive imaging and ways to block the stress response of tumors to increase radiotherapy sensitivity.

I have acted as president and program chair for the Society for Thermal Medicine, which has an emphasis on nanotechnology for thermal treatments using a variety of approaches. I am also active on various committees for a radiotherapy working group of the National Cancer Institute, the American Society for Radiation Oncology and the Radiation Research Society. I am currently an associate senior editor for radiotherapy for the journal Technology in Cancer Research and Treatment and associate senior editor for biology for the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics.

Dr. Griffin’s Grants

Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Award: 19-EPS3-0027

Project PI: Robert Griffin

Title “Accelerating CASE Research”

07/01/2019 to 07/31/2020


*total cancer-related direct cost


UAF Sub-award: NCI

Award: R01CA238025, UAF PI: N. Rajaram

UAMS Co-I: Robert Griffin

Title “Determination of functional and molecular biomarkers of treatment resistance with multimodal optical spectroscopy”

07/01/2019 to 06/30/2024


*total cancer-related direct cost per year


Graphitic Nano Onions LLC

Award: AWD00052238

Project PI: Robert Griffin

Title “Carbon nanoonion technology for advanced theranostic applications in cancer therapy”

07/06/2017 to 07/05/2020


*total cancer-related direct cost


Dr. Griffin’s UAMS Collaborators

UAMS College of Public Health

Gunnar Boysen, Ph.D., Department of Environmental and Occupational Health

Igor Koturbash, Ph.D., Department of Environmental and Occupational Health


UAMS College of Medicine

Michael Borrelli, Ph.D., Department of Radiology

Ruud P.M. Dings, Ph.D., Department of Radiation Oncology

Brendan Frett, Ph.D., Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Edvaldo Galhardo, Ph.D., Department of Radiation Oncology

Issam Makhoul, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine

Analiz Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Neurosurgery

Mark Smeltzer, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Amanda Stolarz, Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Vladimir Zharov, Ph.D., Department of Otolaryngology


Dr. Griffin’s External Collaborators

Alex Biris, Ph.D., University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Jingyi Chen, Ph.D., University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Jose Penagaricano, M.D., Moffitt Cancer Institute, Tampa, Florida

Narasimhan Rajaram, Ph.D., University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Nathan Reyna, Ph.D., Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Chang W. Song, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Young Hye Song, Ph.D., University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Jennifer Xie, Ph.D., Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, Arkansas

Min Zou, Ph.D., University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


Opportunities for Collaboration

I actively collaborate with several Cancer Institute members and a group of other faculty members and am always interested in working on multidisciplinary projects. Through our nanomedicine interests, collaborations are ongoing at University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, Ouachita Baptist University, Arkansas State University and University of Arkansas at Little Rock.


You May Not Know That …

I enjoy fishing, camping and boating with family and am an avid Wisconsin sports fan. I double majored in biology and music and have sung as tenor section leader at various area churches since coming to Little Rock.


Recent Cancer-Related Publications

Gastrointestinal Tract Dysbiosis Enhances Distal Tumor Progression through Suppression of Leukocyte Trafficking. Jenkins SV, Robeson MS 2nd, Griffin RJ, Quick CM, Siegel ER, Cannon MJ, Vang KB, Dings RPM. Cancer Res. 2019 Dec 1;79(23):5999-6009. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-4108. Epub 2019 Oct 7.

Reoxygenation and Repopulation of Tumor Cells after Ablative Hypofractionated Radiotherapy (SBRT and SRS) in Murine Tumors. Song CW, Griffin RJ, Lee YJ, Cho H, Seo J, Park I, Kim HK, Kim DH, Kim MS, Dusenbery KE, Cho LC. Radiat Res. 2019 Aug;192(2):159-168. doi: 10.1667/RR15346.1. Epub 2019 Jun 12.

Enhanced Photothermal Treatment Efficacy and Normal Tissue Protection via Vascular Targeted Gold Nanocages. Jenkins SV, Nedosekin DA, Shaulis BJ, Wang T, Jamshidi-Parsian A, Pollock ED, Chen J, Dings RPM, Griffin RJ. Nanotheranostics. 2019 Mar 22;3(2):145-155. doi: 10.7150/ntno.32395. eCollection 2019.

Label-Free Raman Spectroscopy Reveals Signatures of Radiation Resistance in the Tumor Microenvironment. Paidi SK, Diaz PM, Dadgar S, Jenkins SV, Quick CM, Griffin RJ, Dings RPM, Rajaram N, Barman I. Cancer Res. 2019 Apr 15;79(8):2054-2064. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-2732. Epub 2019 Feb 28.

Glutaminase inhibitor CB-839 increases radiation sensitivity of lung tumor cells and human lung tumor xenografts in mice. Boysen G, Jamshidi-Parsian A, Davis MA, Siegel ER, Simecka CM, Kore RA, Dings RPM, Griffin RJ. Int J Radiat Biol. 2019 Apr;95(4):436-442. doi: 10.1080/09553002.2018.1558299. Epub 2019 Jan 15.

Tumor-endothelial cell interaction in an experimental model of human hepatocellular carcinoma. Jamshidi-Parsian A, Griffin RJ, Kore RA, Todorova VK, Makhoul I. Exp Cell Res. 2018 Nov 1;372(1):16-24. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2018.09.001. Epub 2018 Sep 8.

Modulation of dietary methionine intake elicits potent, yet distinct, anticancer effects on primary versus metastatic tumors. Miousse IR, Tobacyk J, Quick CM, Jamshidi-Parsian A, Skinner CM, Kore R, Melnyk SB, Kutanzi KR, Xia F, Griffin RJ, Koturbash I. Carcinogenesis. 2018 Sep 21;39(9):1117-1126. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgy085.

A Radiosensitizing Inhibitor of HIF-1 alters the Optical Redox State of Human Lung Cancer Cells In Vitro. Lee DE, Alhallak K, Jenkins SV, Vargas I, Greene NP, Quinn KP, Griffin RJ, Dings RPM, Rajaram N. Sci Rep. 2018 Jun 11;8(1):8815. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-27262-y.

Hypoxia-derived exosomes induce putative altered pathways in biosynthesis and ion regulatory channels in glioblastoma cells. Kore RA, Edmondson JL, Jenkins SV, Jamshidi-Parsian A, Dings RPM, Reyna NS, Griffin RJ. Biochem Biophys Rep. 2018 May 2;14:104-113. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrep.2018.03.008. eCollection 2018 Jul.

Triple-negative breast cancer targeting and killing by EpCAM-directed, plasmonically active nanodrug systems. Jenkins SV, Nima ZA, Vang KB, Kannarpady G, Nedosekin DA, Zharov VP, Griffin RJ, Biris AS, Dings RPM. NPJ Precis Oncol. 2017 Sep 1;1(1):27. doi: 10.1038/s41698-017-0030-1. eCollection 2017.

The Future of Radiobiology. Kirsch DG, Diehn M, Kesarwala AH, Maity A, Morgan MA, Schwarz JK, Bristow R, Demaria S, Eke I, Griffin RJ, Haas-Kogan D, Higgins GS, Kimmelman AC, Kimple RJ, Lombaert IM, Ma L, Marples B, Pajonk F, Park CC, Schaue D, Tran PT, Willers H, Wouters BG, Bernhard EJ. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2018 Apr 1;110(4):329-340. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djx231.

Real-time monitoring of circulating tumor cell (CTC) release after nanodrug or tumor radiotherapy using in vivo flow cytometry. Koonce NA, Juratli MA, Cai C, Sarimollaoglu M, Menyaev YA, Dent J, Quick CM, Dings RPM, Nedosekin D, Zharov V, Griffin RJ. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017 Oct 21;492(3):507-512. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.08.053. Epub 2017 Aug 16.

Germline Genetic Variants in TEK, ANGPT1, ANGPT2, MMP9, FGF2 and VEGFA Are Associated with Pathologic Complete Response to Bevacizumab in Breast Cancer Patients. Makhoul I, Todorova VK, Siegel ER, Erickson SW, Dhakal I, Raj VR, Lee JY, Orloff MS, Griffin RJ, Henry-Tillman RS, Klimberg S, Hutchins LF, Kadlubar SA. PLoS One. 2017 Jan 3;12(1):e0168550. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0168550. eCollection 2017.