After graduating in 1981 with a Master’s in Nurse Anesthesia from the UCLA School of Medicine, Griffis spent the next two decades working as a clinician and clinical educator for the UCLA Nurse Anesthesia Program, part of the Department of Anesthesiology. In 2001 he entered the UCLA School of Nursing’s doctoral program and the following year, under the guidance of his adviser and committee chair Dr. Peggy Compton, he began research into some of the mechanisms by which pain may influence the immune system and the entire human organism. Since graduating in 2006 he has sought to apply his knowledge and research skills to helping patients. In addition to his continuing research and clinical activities, Griffis teaches nurse anesthesia students as well as nurse practitioner and B.S.N. students at the School of Nursing as an assistant clinical professor in UCLA’s Department of Anesthesiology.