Allison Named to Time’s List of 100 Most Influential People
James P. Allison, PhD, leader of the SU2C-Cancer Research Institute Cancer Immunology Dream Team, has been named to Time Magazine’s list of the 100 “most influential people in the world” for his pioneering work in cancer immunology. “It was Allison who figured out how to switch immune cells on to target malignant tumors,” says an essay written by Alice Park, Time’s senior health writer. “The drug he created is now spawning a new generation of immunotherapy treatments that experts hope will be less toxic and more aggressive than what’s available now. His discoveries have already saved thousands of lives — and they’re also forever changing what it means to have cancer.” Allison is chairman of the immunology program at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He was named leader of the Dream Team in 2013, along with Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, of UCLA, and co-leaders Drew Pardoll, MD, PhD, of the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and Cassian Yee, MD, of MD Anderson. The team has studied the immunology methods known as checkpoint inhibitors and adoptive cell transfer, building on work by members of the team that contributed to approval of two new checkpoint inhibitors, pembrolizumab and nivolumab, by the U.S Food and Drug Administration.