Dr. Michael Griffin

Dr. Michael Griffin

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry
Schmid College of Science and Technology; Chemistry
School of Pharmacy
Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences; Health Sciences
Expertise: G-Protein Coupled Receptors; Muscarinic Receptors; Effector Systems; Neurochemistry; Receptor States; Smooth Muscle;
Office Location: Hashinger Science Center 010
Phone: (714) 997-6864
Scholarly Works:
Digital Commons
University of California, San Diego, Bachelor of Arts
University of California, San Francisco, Ph.D.


Dr. Griffin received his Ph.D. (1983) in Pharmacology from UC San Francisco and did postdoctoral research at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and at Yale University.  In 1987, he joined the Division of Natural Science at Chapman University where he is now a tenured full Professor in the Crean School of Health and Life Sciences and Director of the B.S degree program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  Dr. Griffin joined the Department of Pharmacology at UCI in 1993 where he does neurochemistry research, currently holding the rank of Researcher, Step V.


  • General Chemistry CHEM 140, 150
  • Medicinal Chemistry CHEM 350
  • Biochemistry I: Biomolecules CHEM 335 (Lecture and Lab)
  • Biochemistry II: Biometabolism CHEM 336 


Current Employment

  • Researcher Step V, Dept. of Pharmacology UCI School of Medicine, 1990 – present
  • Professor, Crean School of Health and Life Sciences, Chapman University, Orange, 1987 - present



Dr Griffin’s research is in the area of pharmacology, biochemistry and neurochemistry.  His studies in signal transduction describe how the outside of a cell communicates with the inside of a cell.  His collaborative work at UCI investigates the molecular pathways involved when an extracellular signal results in an intracellular response. Specifically, he uses biochemical assays and molecular genetics as a tool to investigate how drugs activate cellular effector systems.  An understanding of the mechanisms by which information is transferred across a cell membrane may provide insights into cell communication and strategies for treating medical problems associated with deficient information processing. 


Professional Associations

  • Society for Neuroscience
  • American Association of University Professors


Awards, Grants and Fellowships

  • Chapman University Scudder Award, 2001
  • Chapman Faculty Research Award, 2001, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1994, 1989, 1988
  • Co-Investigator National Institutes of Health Grant PHS-NIH Neurological Disorder and Stroke NS-30882
  • Title: Autonomic Muscarinic Receptor Signaling Mechanisms $644,725 1997-2001
  • Chapman University Excellence Award 1994
  • Co-Investigator National Institutes of Health Grant R01 NS-30882-01 $538,456 1992-96
  • Hua-Cheng Wang Fellowship 1991-1993
  • National Research Service Award T32 NS07166-05 1984-1985
  • National Research Service Award T32 GM07175-03-07 1979-1983
  • Earl C. Anthony Patent Fund Award 1982-1983
  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association Foundation Award 1982

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

Ehlert, F.J. and Griffin, M.T. (2014) Estimation of Ligand Affinity Constants for Receptor States in Functional Studies Involving the Allosteric Modulation of G Protein-Coupled Receptors: Implications for Ligand Bias J Pharmacol and Toxicol Methods May-Jun 69(3):253-79
Ehlert FJ, Pak KJ, Griffin MT. (2012); Muscarinic Agonists and Antagonists: Effects on Gastrointestinal Function. Handb Exp Pharmacol. (208):343-74.
Ehlert FJ, Suga H, and Griffin MT (2011) Analysis of Agonism and Inverse Agonism in Functional Assays with Constitutive Activity: Estimation of Orthosteric Ligand Affinity Constants for Active and Inactive Receptor States. J Pharmacol Exp Ther Aug;338(2):671-86.
Ehlert FJ, Griffin MT, and Suga H (2011) Analysis of Functional Responses at G Protein Coupled Receptors: Estimation of Relative Affinity Constants for the Inactive Receptor State J Pharmacol Exp Ther Aug;338(2):658-70.
Ehlert FJ, Suga H, Griffin MT. (2011); Quantifying agonist activity at G protein-coupled receptors. J Vis Exp. Dec 26;(58):e3179. doi: 10.3791/3179.