University names department chair
James Allison, PhD, whose research led to the development of ipilimumab for patients with metastatic melanoma, has been named chairman of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s department of immunology.
“His insights into the basic biology of immune system T cells will be broadly applicable to a variety of cancers and his gifted scientific leadership is essential to the definitive progress that must be made against these diseases,” Ronald DePinho, MD, president of MD Anderson, said in a press release. “We’re delighted that he will lead our collaborative immunotherapy initiative to continue unleashing the power of the immune system against cancer.”
Allison previously served as chair of the immunology program and director of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Immunotherapy at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He will play a key role in MD Anderson’s new Moon Shots program, which is designed to accelerate the pace at which scientific discoveries are converted into clinical advances that reduce cancer mortality.
“We plan to build a large platform where basic scientists interested in mouse models of cancer work side-by-side with physician-scientists who treat patients to analyze tissues from those patients and truly understand the mechanisms involved,” Allison said in the release. “We all know that no single drug will cure cancer. I think this is where we’ll start getting cures, or at least long-term survival of patients.”