Professor James P. Allison was born in Alice, Texas, United States of America, in 1948. He obtained his BS in Microbiology in 1969, and later in 1973 his PHD in Biological Sciences from the University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA. He did his postgraduate fellowship in Molecular Immunology at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, CA, USA.
He did his postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular Immunology at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, CA, USA. In 1977 he became Assistant Biochemist and Assistant Professor at the Department of Biochemistry at MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas. In 1983 he was a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Pathology at Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, CA, USA in addition to his role as an Associate Biochemist and Associate Professor at MD Anderson. In 1985 he became Director of the Cancer Research Laboratory in the Division of Basic Science Research and Professor at the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology in the Division of Immunology at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, and later in 1989 head of the Division of Immunology. In 1997 he became Professor at the Department of Medicine, Rheumatology at the University of California, San Francisco, USA. During the period from 2004 to 2012 he became Professor at Weill Medical College at Cornell University of New York, USA, and in 2006 became Director of Ludwig Center for Cancer Immunotherapy at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York. Since 2012 he became Professor at the Department of Immunology in the Division of Basic Science Research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Currently he is Vivian L. Smith Distinguished Chair in Immunology, Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Chair of the Department of Immunology, Executive Director of the Immunotherapy Platform, and Deputy Director of the David H. Koch Center for Applied Research of Genitourinary Cancers at MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, Houston, USA.
Professor Allison is a well renowned scientist how has pioneered the concept of immunotherapy blockade by showing that antibody-mediated suppression of the T-Cell inhibitory molecule CTLA-4 can promote tumor rejection which lead to a groundbreaking method of treatment that is the standard of care in the clinic and is saving lives around the world. His seminal work in developing an antagonistic anti-CTLA-4 antibody has led to effectively opening up the field of “immune checkpoint therapy” and the effective treatment of different types of cancer with this methodology.
Professor James Allison has published over 250 highly cited articles, with a total Web of Science (Google Scholar) citations of 40,796 (56,683) and an H-index of 102 (117). He has also, authored, edited, and reviewed 2 books. He is a member of the editorial board of many reputable scientific journals and has participated in various conferences and exhibitions in his field as well as supervised many graduate students. Professor Allison is a highly active researcher and academic as evident by the over 60 awards and honors he has received.
Professor James P. Allison, has been awarded the 2018 King Faisal Prize in Medicine for his outstanding contribution to the development of the field of immunotherapy for cancer. He identification of CTLA-4 as an inhibitory receptor of T-cells and pioneering the development of immune checkpoint inhibitors for the treatment of a range of cancers.