Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Dr. Darren Griffith

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Dr Darren Griffith, BSc, PhD (NUI), PGDip (Leadership & Management)               
Lecturer Medical Commencement Programme, RCSI/IT Tralee                                             

Tel: +353-1-4022246  e-mail: 



BSc(NUI) in Chemistry, University College Dublin, 2000
PhD(NUI) in Medicinal Chemistry under Dr. Celine Marmion, RCSI, 2004
Post-doctoral Research Fellow in Chemistry, Dublin City University, 2004-2005 
Temporary lecturer in Chemistry, RCSI, 2005-2006
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Chemistry, RCSI, 2006-2010
Lecturer in Medical Commencement Programme, RCSI/IT Tralee, 2010

Research Interests

Molecular medicine, metals in medicine and disease
The development of metal-based complexes as anti-cancer agents, with an emphasis on targeting prostate and colorectal cancer.
The advancement of metal-based complexes as specific inhibitors of enzymes and
The development of bismuth complexes as H. pylori therapeutics

Suitable candidates should contact Dr. Griffith directly by email if they wish to apply for postgraduate or postdoctoral scholarship funding opportunities. Such scholarships are available through the Irish Research Council for example (

Research Achievements

Dalton Perspective and cover page of journal, 2012, Vol. 41, (see publications below)
Independent research article selected for publication in Inorganica Chimica Acta ‘Young Investigator Special Edition’ January 201
Barne's Medal for Best Oral Presentation by an early investigator, ‘A Novel Bifunctional Platinum Anti-Cancer Drug Candidate’, RCSI Research Day 2010
IDEA’s Award for Invention Disclosure, RCSI Research Day 2012
Best Poster by an early investigator, ‘The advancement of metal complexes as anti-cancer agents’, RCSI Research Day 2009


Marmion CJ and Griffith D, ‘Compounds Having Dual Histone Deacetylase Inhibitory And DNA-Binding Activity’, US National Phase of PCT/EP2010/60089, 18/01/2012. 

Representative Publications
1. McKeon A, Egan A, Chandanshive J, McMahon H, Griffith D, Molecules, 2016, 21, 7, 949.

2. Keogan DM, Twamley B, Fitzgerald-Hughes D, Griffith DM, Dalton Trans., 2016, 45, 11008 - 11014.

3. Keogan D, Griffith D. Current and Potential Applications of Bismuth-Based Drugs. Molecules, 2014, 19, 15258-15297.

4. Parker JP, Nimir H, Griffith DM, Duff B, Chubb AJ, Brennan MP, Morgan MP, Egan DA, Marmion CJ. A novel platinum complex of the histone deacetylase inhibitor belinostat: Rational design, development and in vitro cytotoxicity.  J. Inorg. Biochem., 2013, 124, 70-77.

5. Henari FZ, Gaynor D, Griffith DM, Mulcahy C, Marmion CJ.
Non-linear optical Measurement of Iron (III) Tris(pyridinehydroxamate) complexes.  Chem. Phys. 2012, Lett., 552, 126-129.

6. Gaynor D, Griffith DM . The prevalence of metal-based drugs as therapeutic or diagnostic agents: beyond platinum. Dalton Trans., 2012, 41, 13239-13257.

7. Brabec V, Griffith DM, Kisova A, Kostrhunova H, Lenka Z, Marmion CJ, Kasparkova J. Valuable insight into the anti-cancer cctivity of the platinum-histone deacetylase inhibitor conjugate, cis-[Pt(NH3)2(malSAHA-2H)]. Mol. Pharm. 2012, 9, 1990–1999.

8. Griffith DM, Bíró L, Platts JA, Müller-Bunz H, Farkas E, Buglyó P.
Synthesis and solution behaviour of stable mono-, di- and trinuclear Pd(II) complexes of 2,5-pyridinedihydroxamic acid: X-ray crystal structure of a novel Pd(II) hydroxamato complex. Inorg. Chim. Acta (Young Investigator Special Edition), 2012, 380, 291-300.

9. Griffith DM, Duff B, Suponitsky KY, Kavanagh K, Morgan MP, Egan D, Marmion CJ. Novel trans-platinum complexes of the histone deacetylase inhibitor valproic acid; synthesis, in vitro cytotoxicity and and mutagenicity. J. Inorg. Biochem., 2011, 105, 793-799.

10. Griffith DM, Szocs B, Keogh T, Suponitsky KY, Farkas E, Buglyó P, Marmion CJ.  Suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, a potent histone deacetylase inhibitor; its X-ray crystal structure and solid state and solution studies of its Zn(II), Ni(II), Cu(II) and Fe(III) complexes. J. Inorg. Biochem., 2011, 105, 763-769.

11. O'Reilly EJ, Dennany L, Griffith D, Moser F, Keyes T, Forster RJ. Ground and excited state communication within a ruthenium containing benzimidazole metallopolymer. Phys. Chem.Chem. Phys, 2011, 15, 7095-7101.

12. Griffith D, Parker J, Marmion CJ. Enzyme inhibition as a key target for the development of novel metal-based anti-cancer therapeutics.  Anti-Cancer Agents Med. Chem., 2010, 10, 354-370. PMID: 20380633 (Special Issue ‘Metal-Containing Drugs And Novel Coordination Complexes In Therapeutic Anticancer Applications', Invited Contribution).

13. Griffith DM, Haughey A, Chahal S, Müller-Bunz H, Marmion CJ. Novel palladium(II) and platinum(II) complexes of biocidal benzisothiazolinone (Bit); X-ray crystal structures of co-crystallised Bit/BitO, cis-Pd(en)(Bit-1H)2.H2O. Inorg. Chim. Acta, 2010, 363, 2333-2337.

14. Griffith D, Morgan MP, Marmion CJ. A Novel Anti-Cancer Bifunctional Platinum Drug Candidate with Dual DNA Binding and Histone Deacetylase Inhibitory Activity. Chemical Communications, 2009, 44, 6735-6737. (Selected as a ‘Hot Article' by the Editor).

15.  Griffith D, Devocelle M, Marmion CJ.  Hydroxamic Acids: Their Chemistry, Bioactivity, Solution and Solid Phase Synthesis  in  Amino Acids, Peptides and Proteins in Organic Chemistry, ed.Hughes AB, 2009, Volume 2,  pp. 93-137 (by invitation)

16. Griffith D, Chopra A, Müller-Bunz H, Marmion CJ. The reduction of platinum(IV) and palladium(IV) ions by 2,6-pyridinedihydroxamic acid. Dalton Trans., 2008, 48, 6933-6939. 

17. Griffith D, Cecco S, Zangrando E, Bergamo A, Sava G, Marmion CJ. Ruthenium(III) dimethylsulfoxide pyridinehydroxamic acid complexes as potential anti-metastatic agents; synthesis, characterisation and in vitro pharmacological evaluation.   Biol. Inorg. Chem., 2008, 13, 511-520

18. Griffith D, Krot K, Commiskey J, Nolan KB, Marmion CJ. Monohydroxamic acids and bridging dihydroxamic acids as chelators to ruthenium(III) and as nitric oxide donors; synthesis, speciation studies and nitric oxide releasing investigation. Dalton Trans., 2008, 1,137-147. 

19. Griffith D, Bergamo A, Pin S, Vadori M, Müller-Bunz H, Sava G, Marmion CJ. Novel platinum pyridinehydroxamic acid complexes; synthesis, characterisation, X-ray crystallographic study and nitric oxide related properties. Polyhedron, 2007, 26, 4697-4706. (Special Issue - ‘Transition metal chemistry of NO, N2O and related molecules', Invited Contribution).

20. Mulcahy C, Krot KA, Griffith DM, Suponitsky KY, Starikova ZA, Marmion CJ. Iron(III) tris(pyridinehydroxamate)s and related nickel and zinc complexes: platforms for the design of novel heterobimetallic supramolecular assemblies. Eur. J. Inorg. Chem., 2007, 1373-1380.

21. Mulcahy C, Dolgushin FM, Krot KA, Griffith D, Marmion CJ.'Synthesis, characterisation and speciation studies of heterobimetallic pyridinehydroxamate-bridged Pt(II)/M(II) complexes (M = Cu, Ni, Zn). Crystal structure of a novel heterobimetallic 3-pyridinehydroxamate-bridged Pt(II)/Cu(II) wave-like coordination polymer. Dalton Trans., 2005, 11, 1993-1998. 

22. Griffith D,  Lyssenko K, Jensen P, Kruger PE, Marmion CJ. Novel platinum(II) hydroxamate and hydroximate complexes and the platinum-assisted hydrolysis of hydroxamic acids. Dalton Trans., 2005, 5, 956 - 961. 

23. Marmion CJ, Griffith D,Nolan KB. Hydroxamic acids - an intriguing family of bioligands and enzyme inhibitors.  Eur. J. Inorg. Chem., 2004, 15, 3003-3016 

24. Griffith D, Alessio E, Zangrando E, Marmion CJ. A novel ruthenium nitrosyl complex which also contains a free NO donor moiety. Inorg. Chim. Acta, 2004, 357, 3770-3774.

Selected Research Presentations

Supramolecular Ireland 2016, Maynooth University, Co. Kildare, ‘Biological Applications of Metallo Hydroxamates' July 2016

Catalysis and Sensing for our Environment Symposium 2015 (CASE 2015), TCD, Dublin, 'Novel Bismuth Complexes as potential multi-targeted anti-H. pylori agents', July 2015 

International Symposium on Applied Bioinorganic Chemistry 13, June 12-15, 2015, NUI Galway, Galway, Ireland, 'Novel Bismuth Complexes as potential multi-targeted anti-H. pylori agents', June 2015 

Metallodrugs: Design and Mechanism of Action, Olomouc, Czech Republic, ‘Novel Platinum Complexes of the Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor - Valproic Acid', Dec 2012 

An Cumann Ceimice, Guest Speaker, NUI Galway, ‘Hydroxamic Acids as Versatile (Bio) Ligands', Nov 2012 

Irish Institute for Metal-Based Drugs Conference, Dublin Institute of Technology. ‘Valuable Insight into the Anticancer Activity of the Platinum-Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor Conjugate, cis-[Pt(NH3)2malSAHA-2H)]', Mar 2012 

11th International Symposium on Applied Bioinorganic Chemistry, Barcelona, ‘Platinum Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor Conjugates as Potential Anti-cancer Agents', Sept 2011 

Irish Institute for Metal-Based Drugs Conference, Dublin Institute of Technology. ‘A Novel Anti-Cancer Bifunctional Platinum Drug Candidate with Dual DNA Binding and Histone Deacetylase Inhibitory Activity’, Nov 2009  

EU COST D39 Workshop, Debrecen, 2009. ‘Fighting Cancer with Precious Metals: New Metallodrug Candidates with Dual DNA Binding and Enzyme Inhibitory Properties’, Sept 2009     

XVIIIth European Conference of GP2A, Trinity College Dublin
‘Ruthenium(III) dimethyl sulfoxide pyridinehydroxamic acid complexes as potential anti-metastatic agents’, Sept 2009     

Irish Institute for Metal-Based Drugs Conference, University College Dublin,
‘Ruthenium Anti-metastatic Agents’, Oct 2008  
Symposium on Inorganic Chemistry in Ireland, Trinity College, Dublin.

‘Ruthenium(III) Dimethyl Sulfoxide Pyridinehydroxamic Acid Complexes as Potential Anti-metastatic Agents’, Sept 2008  

Visiting Professor Research Lecture, RCSI-MUB, Bahrain. ‘Platinum and ruthenium hydroxamic acid complexes as anti-tumour agents’, April 2007