ASBMB Past Presidents

1980 – Arthur B. Pardee

(b. 1921)



Arthur Beck Pardee was born in Chicago, Illinois. He began his scientific training as an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received a B.S. in 1942.He then went to the California Institute of Technology to do graduate work with Linus Pauling, performing some of the first studies with purified antibodies. After earning his Ph.D. in 1947, Pardee returned to Berkeley as an instructor, and later became associate professor. In 1961, Pardee moved to Princeton University to become the first chairman of the Biochemical Sciences Department. Then, in 1975, he became chief of the Division of Cell Growth Regulation of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, where he remains today.

During the 1950s, Pardee became interested in enzyme regulation. Along with Richard Yates, he discovered a general control mechanism for the pyrimidine pathway and concluded that the end product of a biosynthetic pathway can be an inhibitor of its initial enzymatic reaction. These experiments were the subject of a Journal of Biological Chemistry Classic (1). Pardee then showed that enzymes could have regulatory sites that were distinct from their active sites. His later studies on the regulation of enzyme expression by repression became the basis for the major mechanism for regulating gene expression. Pardee then investigated the differences between cancer cells and normal cells and the disregulation of the cell cycle in cancer. He and Peng Liang are credited with the discovery of the differential display technique, which is widely used in examining the activation of genes in cells.

Pardee was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served as president (1980) and treasurer (1964–1970) of the American Society of Biological Chemists and president of the American Association for Cancer Research (1985). He has received the American Chemical Society Paul Lewis Award (1960), the Federation of European Biochemical Societies Krebs Medal (1973), and the Federation of American Scientists for Experimental Biology 3M Award (1980).

1. Kresge, N., Simoni, R. D., and Hill, R. L. (2005) The discovery of feedback inhibition by Arthur B. Pardee. J. Biol. Chem. 280 (41)