James P. Allison
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|James P. Allison|
|Born||August 7, 1948
|Institutions||M. D. Anderson Cancer Center|
|Alma mater||University of Texas, Austin|
|Known for||T cell antigen receptor, CD28 co-stimulation, CTLA-4 as an inhibitory molecule, development of anti-CTLA-4 as antibody to treat cancer, with FDA-approval of ipilimumab (BMS)|
|Notable awards||2014 Breakthrough Prize|
James P. Allison, Ph.D. is a world renowned immunologist, and currently holds the position of Professor and Chair of Immunology and the director of Immunotherapy platform at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Allison has a longstanding interest in mechanisms of T-cell development and activation, the development of novel strategies for tumor immunotherapy and is recognized as the first person to isolate the T-cell antigen receptor complex protein. His research in the 1990s at the University of California, Berkeley, led to the clinical development of ipilimumab (Yervoy™), which was approved in 2011 by the FDA for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. Previously, he was director of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Immunotherapy and the chair of the immunology program at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, as well as the David H. Koch Chair in Immunologic Studies and attending immunologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Allison is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Previously, he served as president of the American Association of Immunologists. He has received numerous awards, including the Centeon Award for Innovative Breakthroughs in Immunology, the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology, the AAI-Dana Award in Human Immunology Research and the C. Chester Stock Award for Distinguished Achievement in Biomedical Research. Dr. Allison recently received an AACR/SU2C/CRI cancer immunotherapy dream team grant, for which he will serve as the Dream Team leader. In December 2013 he was awarded the $3 million Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for his work. In February 2014, James Allison was announced the winner of the 9th Annual Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research by the National Foundation for Cancer Research. Dr. Allison’s pioneering cancer research in the area of immunotherapy led to the successful development of “immune checkpoint therapy,” and the first FDA-approved drug for the treatment of metastatic melanoma.
Dr. Allison earned his B.S. in Microbiology in 1969 and his Ph.D. in Biological Science from the University of Texas, Austin in 1973. He was appointed a professor of immunology and director of the Cancer Research Laboratory at UC Berkeley in 1985. In 2004, he moved to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, which he left for the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in 2012. From 2012 up until 2014 he has stayed at M.D.Anderson, keeping his place in the chair of immunology.
- Cancer Therapeutics
- Drug Development
- Cell Biology
- Tumor Growth & Metastasis
- Vaccine Development
Allison's general area of interest for research is in molecular immunology of the T cell antigen receptor complex, co-stimulatory receptors, and other molecules involved in T cell activation. He is particularly interested in finding signals that lead to differentiation of naive T cells and also those that determine whether antigen receptor engagement will lead to functional activation or inactivation of T cells. Once defined, the basic studies are used to develop new strategies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and immunotherapy of cancer. Most recently he has been interested in understanding the immune responses in cancer patients who respond to immunotherapy. He established the Immunotherapy Platform at MDAnderson Cancer Center to study immune responses in cancer patients. 
- "Enhancement of antitumor immunity by CTLA-4 blockade". PubMed.gov.
- "Laureates: 2014". Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.
- "Dr. James Allison of MD Anderson Cancer Center Awarded 2014 Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research: 2014".
- "James P. Allison - Researcher Profile | Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center". Memorial Sloan - Kettering Cancer Center. Retrieved 10 January 2013.