James Allison, MD

Executive Director, Immunotherapy Platform
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Jim Allison is professor and chair of the department of Immunology and the executive director of the Immunotherapy Platform at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He holds the Vivian Smith Distinguished Chair in
Immunology and is deputy director of the David H. Koch Center for Applied Research in Genitourinary Cancers, Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology. He is a director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.

Allison’s research focuses on the mechanisms that govern T cell responses and applying that basic understanding to overcome cancer’s evasion of attack by the
immune system. His fundamental discoveries led him to pioneer immune checkpoint blockade as a cancer treatment, working with pharmaceutical companies to develop Yervoy.

Allison explores combinations of immunological therapies and targeted drugs in preclinical studies to more effectively treat a variety of cancers. He continues
basic research on immune stimulatory and inhibiting molecules. The immunotherapy platform is part of MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program, an ambitious effort to more rapidly reduce cancer deaths and suffering by developing advances in prevention, early detection and treatment based on scientific discoveries.

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