James Patrick Allison is an American immunologist and Nobel laureate who holds the position of professor and chair of immunology and executive director of immunotherapy platform at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas.
He has spent a distinguished career studying the regulation of T cell responses and developing strategies for cancer immunotherapy. He earned the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which he shared with Dr. Tasuku Honjo, "for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation." His discoveries have led to new cancer treatments for the deadliest cancers. He is also the director of the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) scientific advisory council. He has a longstanding interest in mechanisms of T-cell development and activation, the development of novel strategies for tumor immunotherapy, and is recognized as one of the first people to isolate the T-cell antigen receptor complex protein.
Among many honors, he is a member of the National Academies of Science and Medicine and received the Lasker-Debakey Clinical Medical Research award in 2015. His current work seeks to improve immune checkpoint blockade therapies currently used by our clinicians and identify new targets to unleash the immune system in order to eradicate cancer.
Allison knew he wanted to work in cancer research after losing his mother to lymphoma, two uncles to melanoma & lung cancer, and his brother to prostate cancer. Allison serves as a commentator in the Cancer documentary.
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