Arthur B. Pardee
Arthur B. Pardee (born 1921), B.S., 1942, University of California, Berkeley; M.S., 1943, Ph.D., 1947, California Institute of Technology, is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and former Chief of Cell Growth and Regulation at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Pardee is known for his theoretical and technical contributions to the fields of molecular biology and cancer research, particularly developments related to the understanding and manipulation of cell growth and reproduction.
Some of his contributions to scientific research include the identifying the presence of ribosomes in bacteria in 1952 as well as the discovery of messenger RNA in 1953, both while working at the Virus Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. While on sabbatical, Pardee worked with Francois Jacob (1920-2013) and Jacques Monod (1910-1976) at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, where they carried out the “PaJaMo” experiment in 1957, which demonstrated that gene expression is regulated by a repressor mechanism. As a Professor of Biochemical Sciences at Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, in 1961, Pardee identified the restriction point, or “Pardee point,” which is a point in a cell cycle in the “G1” Phase where the cell commits to moving to the “S” Phase. He published this finding in 1974, defining the discovery as a restriction point for control of normal animal cell proliferation.
After becoming a Professor of Biological Chemistry, Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, and Chief, Division of Cell Growth and Regulation, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts in 1975, Pardee continued his work relating to cancer, identifying certain agents that can uncouple mitosis from the completion of DNA replication, which is lethal to cells. This finding led directly to the emergence of the idea that the cell-cycle is controlled by “checkpoint” proteins, which ensure temporal control of cell-cycle biochemical events. Pardee thus introduced the idea that cancer cell frequently harbor defects in checkpoint proteins, and that checkpoint-abrogating agents might be used to selectively kill cancer cells. In the 1990s, along with Peng Liang, Pardee invented the concept of differential display, which is a method to detect messenger RNAs expressed in a given cell type, which can be used to isolate specific genes. This has since been used to detect genes whose expression has been altered by cancer or other diseases, and was one of the first methods used to detect cancer in its early stages. Pardee retired in 1992, and remains a Professor Emeritus, actively publishing articles.
Throughout Pardee’s career, beginning in 1948, he has published more than 525 scientific articles, and has been active with professional organizations and societies as a leader and active member, such as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Fellow, 1963); the National Academy of Sciences (elected member, 1968); the Institute of Medicine (elected member, 1974); American Society of Biological Chemists (President, 1980); and the American Association for Cancer Research (Board of Directors,1983 to 1986, President, 1985, Fellow, 2013). His work has been celebrated with numerous awards, as well. In 1960, he received the Paul Lewis Award from the American Chemical Society, and in 1973, was given the Sir H.A. Krebs Medal from the Federation of European Biochemical Societies. He received the Rosenstiel Medal in 1975, the FASEB 3M Award in 1980, and the 1998 Boehringer Mannheim Award. His alma mater, the California Institute of Technology, selected him for the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1999.
The materials below display images and data related to Pardee's studies of anti-cancer treatments, including efforts to reduce the size and risk of tumors in the mammary cells.