Nikos Athanasou (born in 1953) is a short story writer & novelist and musculoskeletal pathologist and scientist. He was born in Perth and grew up in Sydney where he studied medicine. He moved to England and is currently Professor of Musculoskeletal Pathology at Oxford University and a Fellow of Wadham College.
Short story writer and novelist
His collection of twenty short stories Hybrids  was published in 1995. These character-based short stories dealt with the sense of dislocation felt by Greek Australians and Greeks in Australia who see themselves as neither wholly Greek nor Australian but as a specific hybrid formed by the influence of these two cultures. Greek traditions sit uneasily in the new world society of Australia and contrarily, Australian attitudes and outlook clash with the social customs and attitudes of Greeks.
His second work, The Greek Liar, a novel was published in 2002. It further examines Greek Australian society and explores in greater depth the effect of rigid Greek and Australian social structures and the pursuit of materialistic goals on the individual Greek-Australian’s quest for identity.
His last novel The Person of the Man, published in 2012, continues this existential theme, examining the logical basis and feelings underlying an outwardly successful but secretly flawed marriage. The betrayal and tragedy that follow show that love cannot be analysed in personal materialistic terms: it can only be understood.
Musculoskeletal pathologist and scientist
As Nicholas Athanasou he has written widely on bone, joint and soft tissue pathology and on the pathobiology of osteoarticular cells and tissues. With TJ Chambers he developed the osteoclast lacunar bone resorption assay system. His work was the first to show that the human osteoclast shares specific surface antigens with macrophages and that the mononuclear human osteoclast precursor circulates in the (CD14+) monocyte fraction. This led to the discovery of cellular and molecular mechanisms of pathological bone resorption associated with primary and secondary bone tumours, particularly breast cancer metastasis, Ewing sarcoma  and giant cell–rich lesions such as giant cell tumour of bone and pigmented villonodular synovitis. In addition, his work has studied synovial and inflammatory macrophages and their role in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, infection and Paget disease. His work on hip and knee implants focused on the importance of biomaterial wear particles on promoting osteoclast formation, osteolysis and implant loosening. He also characterised inflammatory criteria for the histological diagnosis of infection using frozen section procedure  and was the first to provide a pathological description of pseudotumors associated with metal on metal hip implants.
- Nikos Athanasou (1995) Hybrids. Brandl and Schlesinger. ISBN 0646238922
- Nikos Athanasou (2002) The Greek Liar. Brandl and Schlesinger. ISBN 1876040416
- Nikos Athanasou (2012) The Person of the Man. Brandl and Schlesinger. ISBN 9781921556340
- Nicholas Athanasou (2001) The Pathological Basis of Orthopaedic and Rheumatic Disease. Arnold. ISBN 0340763825
- Nicholas Athanasou (1999) Colour Atlas of Bone, Joint and Soft Tissue Pathology. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0192627929
- Chambers TJ, Revell PA, Fuller K, Athanasou NA. (1984). Resorption of bone by isolated rabbit osteoclasts. J Cell Science 66: 383 – 399 PMID 6746762
- Athanasou NA, Quinn J. (1990). Immunophenotypic differences between osteoclasts and macrophage polykaryons: immunohistological distinction and implications for osteoclast ontogeny and function. J Clin Pathol 43: 997 – 1003 PMID 2266187
- Fujikawa Y, Quinn J, Sabokbar A, McGee JO'D, Athanasou NA. (1996) The human mononuclear osteoclast precursor circulates in the monocyte fraction. Endocrinology 139: 4058 -4060 PMID 8756585
- Athanasou N. (1996) The cellular biology of bone-resorbing cells. J Bone Joint Surgery (A). 78: 1096 – 1112 PMID 8698729
- Athanasou NA, Quinn J. (1992). Human tumour-associated macrophages are capable of bone resorption. Br J Cancer 65: 523 – 526 PMID 1562461
- Quinn JMW, McGee JO'D, Athanasou NA. (1998). Human tumour-associated macrophages differentiate into osteoclastic bone-resorbing cells. J Pathol 184: 31-36. PMID 9582524
- Taylor R, Knowles H, Athanasou NA (2011) Ewing sarcoma cells express RANKL and support osteoclastogenesis. J Pathol 225: 195-202 PMID 21547906
- Lau YS, Sabokbar A, Gibbons CLMH, Athanasou NA. (2005). Phenotypic and molecular studies on giant cell tumours of bone and soft tissues. Hum Pathol. 36: 945 – 954 PMID 16153456
- Taylor R, Knowles H, Kashima T, Gibbons CLMH, Whitewell D, Athanasou NA, (2011) Osteoclast formation and function in pigmented villonodular synovitis. J Pathol 225:151-156 PMID 21706481
- Fujikawa Y, Sabokbar A, Neale S, Athanasou NA. (1996) Human osteoclast formation and bone resorption by monocytes and synovial macrophages in rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis 55: 1 – 7 PMID 8976638
- Itonaga I, Fujikawa Y, Sabokbar A, Athanasou NA. (2000). The effect of osteoprotegerin and osteoprotegerin ligand on human arthroplasty macrophage-osteoclast differentiation. Ann Rheum Dis 59: 26 - 31. PMID 10627423
- Knowles H, Moskovsky L, Thompson MS, Grunhen J, Chen X, Kashima T, Athanasou NA (2012) Chondroclasts are mature osteoclasts which are capable of cartilage matrix resorption Virchows Archiv 46:205-210 PMID 22782381
- Sun SG, Lau YS, Itonaga I, Sabokbar A, Athanasou NA. (2006). Bone stromal cells in Paget's disease and Paget's sarcoma express RANKL and support human osteoclast formation. J Pathology 209: 114 – 120 PMID 16482498
- Sabokbar AS, Fujikawa Y, Neale S, Murray D, Athanasou NA. (1997) Human arthroplasty-derived macrophages differentiate into osteoclastic bone-resorbing cells. Ann Rheum Dis 56: 414 – 420 PMID 9486003
- Itonaga I, Fujikawa Y, Sabokbar A, Athanasou NA. (2000). Effect of osteoprotegerin and osteoprotegerin ligand on human arthroplasty macrophage-osteoclast differentiation. Ann Rheum Dis 59: 26 - 31 PMID 10627423
- Athanasou NA, Pandey R, de Steiger R, Crook D, McLardy-Smith P. (1995). The role of intraoperative frozen section diagnosis of infection in revision arthroplasty. J Bone Joint Surg (Br) 77B: 28-33 PMID 9314407
- Pandey R, Drakoulakis E, Athanasou NA. (1999). An assessment of the histological criteria used to diagnose infection in hip revision arthroplasty tissues. J Clin Pathol 52: 118 - 123 PMID 10396239
- Pandit H, Glyn-Jones S, McLardy-Smith P, Gundle R, Whitwell D, Gibbons CLMH, Ostlere S, Athanasou NA, Gill R, Murray D. W, (2008). Pseudotumours associated with metal-on-metal hip resurfacings. J Bone Joint Surg 90: 847-851 PMID 18591590
- Mahendra G, Pandit H, Kliskey K, Murray D, Gill HS, Athanasou NA (2009) Necrotic and inflammatory changes in metal-on-metal resurfacing hip arthroplasties: Relation to implant failure and pseudotumour formation. Acta Orthop. 80:653-9 PMID 19995315