Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA
Charles L Sawyers has served as the Chair of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center since 2006, where he is also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute conducting cancer research. His studies of BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase function in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), in collaboration with Brian Druker and Novartis, led to the development of the 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 signalling as the primary mechanism of resistance to hormone therapy, resulting in the discovery of the anti-androgen enzalutamide in collaboration with Michael Jung, that prolongs survival in men with metastatic prostate cancer. Sawyers is past President of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and served on the National Cancer Institute’s Board of Scientific Councilors, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, co-recipient of the 2009 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, the ASCO Science of Oncology Award, and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2013). Dr Sawyers is also past President of the American Association for Cancer Research, and currently serves on President Obama’s National Cancer Advisory Board and on the Board of Directors of Novartis, and just recently received the 2015 AACR Team Science Award.