Allison Institute hosts inaugural scientific symposium

World-renowned scientists gather to share breakthrough immunotherapy research

The James P. Allison Institute at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center hosted its inaugural scientific symposium on Nov. 10 at the TMC3 Collaborative Building in the Texas Medical Center’s Helix Park. The event brought together more than 400 leading scientists, including three Nobel laureates, from multiple disciplines to share groundbreaking immunotherapy and immunobiology research.

“Our inaugural symposium is an important milestone representing significant progress for the Allison Institute since we launched last year, and we’re energized by the exceptional science shared by our members and colleagues,” said Nobel laureate James P. Allison, Ph.D., director of the Allison Institute and regental professor and chair of Immunology at MD Anderson. “With an incredible environment and amazing collaborators, I look forward to our continued work to advance immunotherapy cures.”

The Allison Institute was created to advance exceptional discovery, translational and clinical research that will integrate immunobiology across all disciplines. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of the immune system, the institute aims to lead groundbreaking research that will bring the benefits of immunotherapy to all patients.

The symposium opened with remarks from MD Anderson President Peter WT Pisters, M.D., and Allison, followed by presentations from 13 leading clinicians and scientists focused on themes from the Allison Institute’s priority research areas. Featured speakers included:

  • Robert Schreiber, Ph.D.
    Andrew M. and Jane M. Bursky Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Immunology
    Director, Bursky Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs
    Washington University School of Medicine
    Allison Institute Scientific Advisory Board Co-Chair

  • Elaine Mardis, Ph.D.
    Co-Executive Director, Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine, Nationwide Children’s Hospital
    Rasmussen Nationwide Foundation Endowed Chair of Genomic Medicine
    Professor of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine
    Allison Institute Scientific Advisory Board Co-Chair

  • Carolyn Bertozzi, Ph.D.
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2022
    Baker Family Director of Stanford ChEM-H
    Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Humanities and Sciences
    Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology, Professor of Radiology
    Stanford University

  • Phillip Sharp, Ph.D.
    Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1993
    Emeritus Professor
    Member, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Tak Mak, Ph.D.
    Senior Scientist
    Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
    Director, The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research
    Professor of Medical Biophysics
    University of Toronto

  • Padmanee Sharma, M.D., Ph.D.
    Director of Scientific Programs, Allison Institute
    Associate Vice President of Immunobiology
    Professor of Genitourinary Medical Oncology and Immunology
    MD Anderson

“The Allison Institute is aligned with MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer, and we are committed to building on the great promise of immunotherapy to improve treatments for millions of patients,” Pisters said. “I am certain this inaugural symposium will drive further impact for the Allison Institute. With insights from distinguished scientists from around the world, we are fostering collaboration, inspiration and new ideas that can move immunotherapy forward in unbelievable ways.”