Scientific Advances
James P. Allison, PhD
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Pioneered checkpoint blockade strategy for cancer immunotherapy
  • Allison has a longstanding interest in mechanisms of T cell development and activation, and the development of novel strategies for tumor immunotherapy.
  • He was the first person to isolate the T-cell antigen and find the "brake" (ie, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 [CTLA-4]) that stops T-cell proliferation.
  • Allison's research with Jedd D. Wolchok 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.
  • Allison will play an instrumental role in MD Anderson's recently announced Moon Shots Program to dramatically accelerate the pace of converting scientific discoveries into clinical advances that reduce cancer deaths.
Program Information:
Previous Inductees:
2013 | 2014
2015 | 2016
2017 | 2018
2019 | 2020