Alice native Jim Allison was presented with the 2018 Noble Prize for Medicine earlier this week.
He was in Stockholm, Sweden earlier this week for the ceremony. He also visited the Nobel Museum and signed the bottom of a chair at Bistro Nobel, a tradition among Nobel recipients.
Allison, a scientist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, received the prestigious award from the King of Sweden. Allison, the chair of Immunology and executive director of the Immunotherapy Platform at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for launching an effective new way to attack cancer by treating the immune system rather than the tumor. Allison is the first MD Anderson scientist to receive the world’s most preeminent award for outstanding discoveries in the fields of life sciences and medicine.
Allison was awarded the prize with Japanese immunologist Tasuku Honjo, M.D., Ph.D.
Allison delivered his Nobel lecture entitled “Immune Checkpoint Blockade in Cancer Therapy: New insights, opportunities, and prospects for cures” on Dec. 7 in Stockholm.
Both Allison, 70, and Honjo, 76, made discoveries that led to the development of “checkpoint inhibitors”—drugs infused into patients to block molecules that put the brakes on T cells. By releasing these brakes, the body’s own immune system is able to fight cancer.
The prize is currently worth $1,012,297.05 and will be split between the winners.
Allison is the second Nobel Prize winner with ties to Alice.
Nobel Prize winner Robert F. Curl Jr. was born in Alice on August 23, 1933. Curl is an emeritus professor of chemistry at Rice University. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 for the discovery of fullerene.