Jim Allison, PhD

Jim Allison, PhD, is Regental Professor and Executive Director of the Immunotherapy Platform, at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He has spent a storied career studying the regulation of T cell responses and developing strategies for cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Allison 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. As the chair of Immunology at MD Anderson, Dr. Allison’s current work focuses on deciperhing the mechanisms of anti-cancer activity, and determining the best design practices for T-cell based immunotherapies for patients.

Dr. Allison was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for his groundbreaking discoveries and contributions that propelled the field of cancer immunotherapy. In addition to serving on the National Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel, he is the Director of Cancer Research Institute and the leader of the CRI-Su2C Dream Team. He is the subject of director Bill Haney’s 2019 documentary Jim Allison: Breakthrough and was named one of the TIME 100: Most Influential People of 2017.

Dr. Allison earned his PhD in biological sciences from The University of Texas at Austin. He completed his postgraduate training as a postdoctoral fellow with the Department of Moleculary Immunology at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla, CA.

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