Gordon J. Freeman, Ph.D
Professor of Medical Oncology (DFCI) and Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Freeman is renowned for his work characterizing the PD-L1/PD-1 interaction and elucidating the functional impact of inhibiting this interaction on T cells in health and disease. Dr. Freeman’s research identified the ligands for the major pathways that control the immune response by inhibiting T cell activation or stimulating T cell activation. He showed that engagement of PD-1 by PD-L1 or PD-L2 inhibited T cell activation, cytokine production, and cytolytic activity whereas blockade enhanced these activities. Dr. Freeman’s work led directly to the development of a successful strategy for cancer immunotherapy: block the pathways that tumors use to turn off the immune response. Dr. Freeman has published over 300 scientific papers and holds over 50 US patents on immunotherapies. He has received numerous awards, including the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Tumor Immunology in 2014 and the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize for the discovery and development of PD-1 pathway blockade in 2017. Dr. Freeman received his Ph.D. degree in 1979 from Harvard University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard prior to joining the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.