James Allison: Immune to Failure

Released Monday, 23rd March 2020
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There’s one person who can claim to have played harmonica with Willie Nelson AND been awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine… and that's James (Jim) Allison. Dr. Allison is the scientist who unlocked the secrets of the immune system, to develop a wildly successful treatment for melanoma and several other kinds of cancer.  Immunotherapy is now considered the “fourth pillar” of cancer treatment, alongside surgery, radiation and chemo.  For years, he faced the doubts and derision of the cancer establishment. But for Dr. Allison, the race to come up with a better approach to curing cancer was deeply personal.  His mother and uncles and brother all died of cancer. And he himself has had cancer three times. He talks here about his earliest aspirations to become a biologist, growing up in a town where evolution wasn’t taught in school. He movingly describes the first time he met a patient whose life was saved by his research.  And yes, he explains how it is he came to play with Willie Nelson.

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48m 17s

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