James P. Allison, Ph.D.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX

Dr. James P. Allison is the chair of Immunology, the executive director of the Immunotherapy Platform, and deputy director for Applied Research of Genitourinary Cancers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Allison, who also serves on the National Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel, helped identify the T cell antigen receptor, and discovered that blocking the CTLA-4 receptor on T cells enhances the immune system’s ability to eliminate tumors. This led to the development of the first approved checkpoint immunotherapy, the anti-CTLA-4 ipilimumab.

In addition to the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology, Dr. Allison has received many awards, including the 2018 Jessie Stevenson Kovalenko Medal (National Academy of Sciences), the 2015 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, the 2005 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology, the 2013 AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology, the 2017 Balzan Prize, and the 2018 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research. He is the subject of the documentary Jim Allison: Breakthrough (2019) by director Bill Haney, and was named one of the TIME 100: Most Influential People of 2017.

The director of CRI’s Scientific Advisory Council since 2011, Dr. Allison is also a leader of the CRI-SU2C Dream Team, serves on both the Postdoctoral Fellowship Review Committee and CLIP Grant Review Committee, and is a member of CRI’s global clinical investigator network.

His current work focuses on deciphering the mechanisms of anti-cancer T cell activity, and figuring out how we can better design T cell-based immunotherapies for patients.

Learn more about Dr. Allison’s incredible career

"CRI plays a very important role in funding the training of young scientists … and helps foster advances in the field that will lead to even more ways to treat cancer down the line." 
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*Immunotherapy results may vary from patient to patient.