Speaker's BiographyCharles Sawyers
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Chair, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Charles Sawyers is an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and chair of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Sawyers' studies of BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase function in chronic myeloid leukemia, in collaboration with Brian Druker and Novartis, led to the development of the ABL kinase inhibitor imatinib as primary therapy for CML. This was followed by his discovery that BCR-ABL mutations confer imatinib resistance, and development of the second generation Abl kinase inhibitor dasatinib, in collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb. Sawyers' work in prostate cancer defined upregulation of androgen receptor signaling as the primary mechanism of resistance to hormone therapy, resulting in the discovery of the antiandrogen enzalutamide (formerly MDV3100) in collaboration with Michael Jung, which prolongs survival in men with metastatic prostate cancer. Sawyers is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine and co-recipient of the 2009 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award.