Gordon J. Freeman

Gordon J. Freeman

In 2000, Dr. Freeman discovered PD-L1 and PD-L2, and showed they were ligands for PD-1, thus defining the PD-1 pathway and the drug target: block the interaction. He showed the function of PD-1 was to inhibit immune responses and that blockade enhanced immune responses. He showed that PD-L1 is highly expressed on many solid tumors such as breast and lung, as well as some hematologic malignancies and allows these tumors to inhibit immune attack.  He received the 2014 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Tumor Immunology and 2017 Warren Alpert Foundation award for this work that led to development of PD-1/PD-L1 pathway blockade for cancer immunotherapy.