James P. Allison, PhD

James P. Allison, PhD
Chair, Department of Immunology
​University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas

James Allison is an expert in the field of antibody-mediated immune activation. He has dedicated his career to the study of how immune cells can eradicate cancer. After obtaining his Bachelor or Science and doctorate in biological sciences, at The University of Texas, Austin, he joined the University of California/Berkeley, where, as professor of immunology, he discovered among many other achievements, the mechanism of action of an inhibitory T cell molecule named CTLA-4, and the therapeutic potential of anti-CTLA4 antibodies for cancer treatment. This discovery eventually led very recently to the registration of ipilimumab, anti-CTLA4 mAb, for the treatment of melanoma. This work has established immune checkpoint blockade of CTLA-4 and other inhibitory molecules as a promising strategy for the treatment of cancer.

Currently at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Allison is the chair of the Immunology Program and holds the distinguished positions of director of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Immunotherapy; David H. Koch chair in immunologic studies; attending immunologist in the department of medicine and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Dr. Allison is the scientific director of the Cancer Research Institute, a vital force in the advancement of new immune-based approaches to cancer treatment, control and prevention.

Dr. Allison is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Association of Cancer Research. He has served as president of the American Association of Immunologists and has been a member/chair of various NIH Advisory Committees.

Dr. Allison is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including; the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology; the AAI-Dana Award in Human Immunology Research; the C. Chester Stock Award for Distinguished Achievement in Biomedical Research; Lifetime Achievement Award, American Association of Immunologists; Roche Award for Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy; and the American Skin Association’s Breakthrough Achievement in Translational Cancer Research. Dr. Allison is a world-renowned speaker in the field of tumor immunology.