HOUSTON Discovering key elements of immune system T cell biology and applying that knowledge to create a new way to treat cancer has earned Jim Allison, Ph.D., the 2014 Szent-Gyrgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research from the National Foundation for Cancer Research.
The NFCR, a leading charity funding cancer research and public education, announced its ninth annual award, named for its co-founder Albert Szent-Gyrgyi, M.D., Ph.D., the 1937 Nobel Laureate in Medicine or Physiology.
"Dr. Allison's work has already saved numerous lives and shines a bright light on a future direction of oncology," said Alex Matter, M.D., CEO of Experimental Therapeutics Centre & D3, A*STAR in Singapore. Matter won the 2013 prize and chaired this year's prize selection committee.
"He has validated the immunotherapy approach and turned previously widely-held beliefs on their heads with his discoveries," Matter said in the NFCR announcement. "His work is extremely significant and constitutes a turning point in the history of progress in cancer treatments."
Allison, professor and chair of Immunology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and director of the Moon Shots Program immunotherapy platform, was recruited to MD Anderson in 2012 to build a program that supports immunotherapy research across multiple cancer types
Treating the immune system, not the tumor
"Jim Allison is a brilliant basic scientist who rigorously pursued his curiosity about the biology of T cells, leading to remarkable discoveries and a truly disruptive approach to treating cancer," MD Anderson President Ron DePinho, M.D., said.
"The Szent-Gyorgyi prize recognizes the impact of his work to unleash the immune system against cancer, greatly extending the lives of many patients with previously untreatable, advanced melanoma," DePinho said. "We are proud to have him leading MD Anderson's efforts to improve and extend this approach
|Contact: Scott Merville|
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center