Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Allison, James P.
Location The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Primary Field Immunology and Inflammation
 Election Citation
Allison was the first person to isolate the T cell receptor protein. This discovery was one of the three most important findings in immunology of the last twenty years. He has also identified with monoclonal antibodies three other crucial proteins on mouse T-cells' gamma delta receptors, CD28 and CTLA-4.
 Research Interests
My research deals with mechanisms of T cell development and activation. For the past several years our focus has been on the interaction of antigen receptor and costimulatory signals. Recent work has demonstrated that the process of T cell activation is considerably more complex than originally thought and seems to involve integration of at least three signals: activating signals generated by engagement of antigen MHC by the antigen receptor, costimulatory signals generated by engagement of B7 family members by CD28, and competing inhibitory signals generated by engagement of B7 by CTLA-4. Current work is directed toward understanding the molecular basis for interaction of the signal transduction pathways and their role in the regulation of immune responses. Previous research in the our laboratory has demonstrated that these signaling pathways can be manipulated to advantage in developing novel strategies for tumor immunotherapy, and current efforts are being made to optimize these strategies alone or in combination with other approaches to tumor therapy. New strategies for manipulating these pathways in autoimmunity and allergy are also being developed.

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