Professor Emeritus Harry N. Antoniades, a leader in genetic research into the causes of cancer, died last Wednesday at his home in Newton. He was 72.
Antoniades was Professor of Biochemistry in the Department of Cancer Biology and Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and an associate of Dudley House. He was also a Senior Investigator at the Center for Blood Research, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.
Antoniades' career as a researcher was marked by a number of important discoveries. He was a pioneer in the field of hormone transport and regulation and was the first to recognize as distinct entities two important polypeptides known as insulin-like growth factor (IGF) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF).
Antoniades was born in Thessalonki, Greece and completed his doctoral training at the University of Athens. He received a Fulbright Fellowship to MIT before joining Dr. Edwin J. Cohn's laboratory at Harvard Medical School.
In 1983, Antoniades was responsible for what has been called "one of the most spectacular events in the biological sciences this century" when he reported that platelet-derived growth factor and the v-sis oncogene were essentially the same molecule. This showed that genes which could cause cancer (called oncogenes) were the same genes that regulated cell growth.