James Patrick Allison was born in Alice, Texas, U.S.A., in 1948. He obtained his BS in Microbiology in 1969, and later in 1973, his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Texas (UT), Austin, TX, USA. He did his postgraduate fellowship in Molecular Immunology at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation. Afterwards, he served in several reputable universities and Hospitals all over the US as professor, director, chair and head of Molecular and Immunology Departments or Cancer. Since 2012, he has been a Professor at the Department of Immunology at MD Anderson, 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 in Houston.
Professor Allison is a well renowned scientist who 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.
He published over 250 highly cited articles, with a total ISI (Google Scholar) citations of 40,796 (56,683) and an H-index of 102 (117). He is a member of the editorial board of several scientific journals and has participated in various conferences and exhibitions in his field.
Professor Allison recivied over 60 awards and honors he has received including the Dana Foundation Award in Human Immunology Research, Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award and Canada Gairdner International Award.
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.