James P. Allison, PhD

James P. Allison, PhD

Professor and Chair of Immunology

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center


James P. Allison is the Professor and Chair 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. 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.