HOUSTON Basic science research that exposed vital details of cancer's defense against the immune system, revealing an entirely new way to combat these diseases, has earned Jim Allison, Ph.D., a Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.
Allison, chair of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's Immunology department and executive director of the Moon Shots Program immunotherapy platform, received the $3 million honor at a ceremony in San Francisco Thursday night.
Entrepreneurs Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, sponsor the prize to recognize excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life.
"Scientists should be celebrated as heroes, and we're honored to be part of today's celebration of the newest winners of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences and the Fundamental Physics Prize," said Anne Wojcicki and Sergey Brin in a news release announcing the awards.
"I'm honored and exhilarated to receive this generous award established by the founders of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation," Allison said. "My profound thanks go to them for recognizing my own work and for establishing this prize to promote research, celebrate scientists and to generate excitement about careers in science."
Among the uses for the prize funds that Allison is considering is a program for high school students and college undergraduates to foster their interest in biomedicine.
Growing up in Alice, Texas, Allison's own interest in science was cultivated and encouraged by summer programs at The University of Texas at Austin where he attended starting in middle school.
"Real hope for cancer patients around the world"
"Jim Allison richly deserves this wonderful prize for his pioneering research into how tumors evade destruction by immune system attack and how to overcome that defense
|Contact: Scott Merville|
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center