Article by NPR | October 1, 2018
EXCERPT: “James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo will be awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries which led to the development of a revolution in cancer treatment — therapies that work by harnessing the body’s own immune system.
Allison, 70, is currently chair of the department of immunology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Honjo, 76, is a distinguished professor at the Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study and a professor in the department of immunology and genomic medicine at Kyoto University in Japan.
They worked separately on the same problem: figuring out how the immune system helps protect us from cancer and how it can be supercharged to mount an effective response.
Jim Allison, as he is known, did his key work at the University of California, Berkeley. His focus was a key part of the immune system called T cells. ‘When I started working on T cells, nobody understood them at all,’ he said at a news conference today. They rev up to respond to cancers and other diseases, but they also have a mechanism that slows them down to prevent an overreaction…”
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