Demetrios A. Spandidos is Professor Emeritus (since 2015) at the Medical School, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece.He was Professor of Virology and Director of Clinical Virology Laboratory at the University Hospital and the Medical School in Heraklion, Crete (1989-2014) and he was Research Professor and Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology and Biotechnology (1988-1998) at the Institute of Biological Research and Biotechnology at the National Hellenic Research Foundation in Athens, Greece. He is the founder and Editor of the International Journal of Oncology, Oncology Reports, International Journal of Molecular Medicine, Molecular Medicine Reports, Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, Oncology Letters, Biomedical Reports and Molecular and Clinical Oncology.
Dr Spandidos was born in Agios Constantinos, Sparta, Greece and obtained his B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Thessaloniki, Greece in 1971, a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from McGill University in Montreal, Canada in 1976 and a D.Sc. in Genetics from the University of Glasgow, UK in 1989. He is Fellow of the Royal Society of Health (1994) London, UK, Fellow of the Royal College of Pathology (1997) London, UK, Awarded the specialty of Clinical Chemistry, Greece (1998), Fellow of the American Society of Angiology (2005), Doctor Honoris Causa of the ‘Carol Davila’, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest and of the ‘Iuliu Hatieganu’ University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Visiting Scientist and Guest Lecturer, Medical School, University of California, San Diego, USA (1985-1987), Visiting Professor of the University of Catania, Italy, and Kyoto University, Japan, Honorary Professor of Fujian University, P.R. China and corresponding Member of the Academia National de Medicina de Buenos Aires, Argentina (1989). He was an MRC of Canada post-doctoral Fellow at the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of Toronto in 1976-1978, an Assistant Professor (Epimelitis) at the Hellenic Anticancer Institute in Athens in 1978-1979, an MRC of Canada Centennial Fellow at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow in 1979-1981 and a member of the Senior Scientific Staff at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research from 1981-1989 when he took up his appointments in Greece. The identification of cellular oncogenes has probably been the most important discovery in modern cancer research. Prior to their isolation and identification as cellular homologues of retroviral transforming genes, many scientists believed that highly transforming retroviruses and their oncogenes were experimental artifacts irrelevant to human cancer. Since then, an explosion of work has demonstrated the direct relevance of cellular oncogenes to cancer development, diagnosis and treatment. This depended on technical and conceptual advances in the identification of cellular oncogenes and analysis of their role in multistage carcinogenesis. Dr Spandidos has made extremely important and perhaps unique contributions in these fields.
Dr Spandidos was the first scientist in the field of oncology to develop and apply the gene transfer technique, which has become a most potent tool to investigate oncogenes (Spandidos DA and Siminovitch L, Cell 12: 675-682, 1977; Spandidos DA and Siminovitch L, Nature 271: 259-261, 1978) (for a more detailed account see Spandidos DA, The cancer story, Cancer Biology and Therapy 3: 1184-1186, 2004). Thus, his work aided the development of the gene transfer technology that has been of paramount importance in revealing new oncogenes, as well as implementing the molecular understanding of oncogenes and how the normal proto-oncogenes become activated into their malignant transforming cognates. This field has expanded tremendously over the past forty years and Dr Spandidos has continued to contribute actively, playing a major role in scientific investigations on the ras oncogenes. While at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow, he performed notable and importantinvestigations on the nature of the transformation of normal cells by the introduction of single ras genes using retroviral LTRs and other strong promoters (Spandidos DA and Wilkie NM, Nature 310: 469-475, 1984). Some other ideas of his were very provocative at the time, such as the dual function of ras genes as oncogenes and onco-suppressors (Spandidos DA and Wilkie NM, Cover legend: Demetrios A. Spandidos INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ONCOLOGY 49: 2195-2196, 2016 Br J Cancer 58: 67, 1988), which have now proven to be correct (Spandidos DA, et al, Int J Oncol 21: 237-241, 2002). His most significant work includes the discovery of avian reovirus (Spandidos DA and Graham AF, J Virol 19: 977, 1976), the transfer of human globin genes to hemopoietic cells (Spandidos DA and Paul J, EMBO J 1: 15, 1982), the involvement of ras genes in colon tumours (Spandidos DA and Kerr IB, Br J Cancer 49: 681, 1984), the role of ras and myc genes in apoptosis (Wyllie AH, Rose KA, Morris RG, Steel CM, Foster E and Spandidos DA, Br J Cancer 56: 251, 1987), the involvement of c-myc (Field JK, Spandidos DA, et al, Oncogene 4: 1463, 1989) and p53 (Field JK, Spandidos DA, et al, Br J Cancer 64: 573, 1991) in head and neck carcinomas, the role of cytochrome P450 CYP1A1 in cancer progression and prevention (Androutsopoulos VP, Tsatsakis AM and Spandidos DA, BMC Cancer 9: 187, 2009), the involvement of BRAF and RKIP genes in squamous cell carcinoma (Zaravinos A, Kanellou P, Baritaki S, Bonavida B and Spandidos DA, Cell Cycle 8: 1, 2009), the genetic analysis of urinary bladder cancer (Zaravinos A, Lambrou GI, Boulalas I, Delakas D and Spandidos DA, PLoS ONE 6: e18135, 2011 and Zaravinos A, Lambrou GI, Volanis D, Delakas D and Spandidos DA, PLoS ONE 6: e18255, 2011) and the formation of Paediatric Virology (Mammas IN and Spandidos DA, Exp Ther Med 12: 539-540, 2016 and Mammas IN and Spandidos DA, Exp Ther Med 12: 541-549, 2016).
Dr Spandidos has organized more than 50 international meetings on a variety of areas of oncology and molecular medicine, he has served on the Editorial Boards of a number of journals and he is an Honorary Member of several societies.
Dr Spandidos has authored more than 700 publications in more than 200 different international journals, 1000 communications and invited talks at international conferences and his work has received over 18000 citations (Google Scholar). Although actively occupied in fundamental studies in cell and molecular oncology he has always been ready to explore the medical implications of his work with colleagues in the pathological and clinical sciences and has stimulated work in many different laboratories throughout the world. Part of his efforts has been to establish a scientific tradition in biomedical sciences in Greece, including the successful creation of a school of more than 100 Ph.D. students and many more talented scientists with international recognition. As a result of the efforts of Dr Spandidos, Greece has been put on the map of biomedical and cancer research at an international level. For full details of Professor D.A. Spandidos’ achievements and a list of publications see www.spandidos-publications.com. Int J Oncol 49: 2195-2196, 2016.