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Alum Recognized for Cancer Research Breakthrough

Alum Recognized for Cancer Research Breakthrough

Jim Allison, a College of Natural Sciences alumnus and cancer researcher, has been named the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Lasker Award for clinical medical research.

Allison, who received his bachelor's and doctoral degrees in the College and is the chair of immunology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, was recognized for his discovery related to the use of T-cells in the body to help fight cancer. Previously, scientists didn't have a way to harness the power of the immune system to attack cancer, which the body treated as native cells not as infection. Allison's groundbreaking research led to a new class of cancer treatment options called immune checkpoint therapy.

​The Lasker Award is given to scientists whose research has made a transformative impact in the field. Dozens of Lasker Award winners have gone on to receive the highest achievement in science, the Nobel Prize.

In 2014, the College named Allison a Hall of Honor Distinguished Alumnus Award Winner. Allison spoke at the event about a lifetime of ties to UT Austin and how experiences at UT gave him the opportunity to pursue the science he fell in love with as a child. A key lesson he described having learned at the University was that, with the privilege of getting to do the science he found exciting, came the obligation to make an impact in the world.  

"That's something taught to me that's been with me my whole career," Allison said. "You've got to make it count. You've got to make it help people."


JIM ALLISON (BS 69, PHD '73)

At the 2014 Hall of Honor Awards, Distinguished Alumnus award-winner Jim Allison, who is a researcher with MD Anderson, recalls how his experiences at The University of Texas at Austin taught him the importance of making an impact through science.

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Monday, 20 November 2017

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