Dr Roger Griffiths, BSc, PhD
Born in 1949 and brought up in Godreaman, I am the younger son of Glenys and Cledwyn Griffiths who lived in Brynmair Road. I attended Aman Junior School before starting at ABGS in 1961. My elder brother, Alwyn, also attended ABGS. Like him, I went to the University of Wales, Cardiff to study Biochemistry; maintaining a steady stream of former ABGS pupils into this then-emerging ‘new’ science discipline that, in no small way, was inspired by teachers such as Mr.D.D. Davies.
I am a keen sportsman with rugby being my first love. In my early years at ABGS I was keen on athletics but turned to playing rugby in form 4 and subsequently played for the 1st XV in my last two years at school. I have fond memories of past student matches both as a school and past student team member.
I was awarded a B.Sc. Degree in Biochemistry from University of Wales (Cardiff) in 1971 and my three loves: the biochemistry, rugby and meeting my future wife kept me in the city for 5 more years. I completed my Ph. D. in 1974, then spent a further 2 years as a Medical Research Council postdoctoral fellow; and married Valmai in 1976. During my time at Cardiff, I played rugby for the university 1st XV and represented Welsh Universities (once!); I also played for Llandaff 1st XV for 2 seasons.
In 1976, I moved to Scotland where I spent my professional career at the University of St Andrews. My initial appointment was as Lecturer in Biochemistry and I was awarded a Senior Lectureship in 1993. During my time at University of St Andrews, I immersed myself in research, teaching and administration. My research interests in brain biochemistry allowed me to become involved in a productive decade-long multinational and multidisciplinary collaboration with a number of European laboratories during the 1990s; a highlight of my research career. My major administrative role at St Andrews was a Director of Postgraduate Studies in the School of Biology where I also acted as Adviser of Studies while also undertaking numerous teaching and administrative posts; and serving on a number of Faculty and Senate Committees. I was involved as a Faculty representative for International Recruitment where I visited the USA a number of times; and I also spent 5 years as a Warden of a student residence in St Andrews.
When I arrived in St Andrews in 1976, I joined the local rugby club, Madras FPs, and played 1st XV rugby until my early 30s – making a club tour to Sri Lanka in 1981 my swan-song! After my rugby-playing days, my wife and I were heavily involved in the formation of the St Andrews Scorpions Roller Hockey club for children aged between 6–17 years and in the establishment of a league system in Fife and other parts of Scotland. For our efforts we were nominated and presented with a sportScotland Local Services to Sport Award. It gave me great pleasure to see the social benefits this initiative brought to children during their formative years.
My wife and I have two children, Sian and Gareth who reside and work in Cheltenham and Glasgow, respectively. I retired in September 2014 and started and ended my final year of work by going on the British Lions tour to Australia in summer 2013 and the Wales tour to South Africa in summer 2014; an enjoyable way to bow out! I still live in the ‘Home of Golf’ – St Andrews – although I don’t play. I like to keep fit and enjoy walking and cycling; and also spend time in the gym.