Jim Allison, Ph.D.
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
|Grant ID: R1203|
Recruitment of Established Investigators
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
November 02, 2011
Jim Allison, who received the 2018 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, has spent a distinguished career studying the regulation of T cell responses and pioneering new strategies for cancer immunotherapy. Among his most notable discoveries are the determination of the T cell receptor structure and that CD28 is the major costimulatory molecule that allows full activation of naïve T cells and prevents anergy in T cell clones.
His lab resolved a major controversy by demonstrating 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. He proposed that blockade of immune checkpoints such as CTLA-4 might be a powerful strategy for therapy of many cancer types, and conducted preclinical experiments showing its potential. These seminal findings established the field of immune checkpoint blockade therapy for cancer, which earned him the Nobel Prize.