James P. Allison, PhD is the Regental Professor and Chair of the Department of Immunology, Vice President of Immunobiology, Executive Director of Immunotherapy Platform, Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Research, Deputy Director for David H. Koch Center for Applied Research for Genitourinary Cancers, and the Olga Keith Wiess Distinguished University Chair of Cancer Research at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Allison studies the regulation of T cell responses and develops strategies for cancer immunotherapy, and earned the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which he shared with Dr. Tasuku Honjo, “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.” His lab demonstrated that CTLA-4 inhibits T-cell activation by opposing CD28-mediated costimulation and that blockade of CTLA-4 could enhance T cell responses, leading to tumor rejection in animal models. This finding paved the wave for the emerging field of immune checkpoint blockade therapy for cancer. His current work seeks to improve immune checkpoint blockade therapies and identify new targets to unleash the immune system to eradicate cancer.

Dr. Allison is a member of the National Academies of Science (1997) and Medicine (2007) and received the Lasker-Debakey Clinical Medical Research award (2015).

​​This event was moderated by Sohail Tavazoie, MD, PhD, Leon Hess Professor, Rockefeller University, and the ASCI’s 2022-2023 President. Dr. Tavazoie is recipient, among other honors, of the Rita Allen Scholar Award and the Pershing Square Sohn Prize.