Photo: Charles L. Sawyers, MD
Charles L. Sawyers, MD
Year elected: 1999
Current membership category: Senior
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Human Oncology & Pathogenesis Program
1275 York Avenue
New York, NY 10065
United States of America
Phone: 646-888-2138
Facsimile: 646-888-3407

Honors and awards

National Academy of Medicine (2008)
National Academy of Sciences (2010)
Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award (2009) For the development of molecularly-targeted treatments for chronic myeloid leukemia, converting a fatal cancer into a manageable chronic condition. More
ASCI | Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award (2011) For contributions to the development of novel therapeutics in the treatment of leukemia and other forms of cancer.

Society service

President, 2007–2008

Biographical statement

Dr. Charles Sawyers is Marie-Josee and Henry R. Kravis Chair and Chairman, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Sawyers obtained his MD at Johns Hopkins, did his housestaff training in Internal Medicine at University of California San Francisco and completed his hematology-oncology fellowship training at UCLA. His laboratory is focused on characterizing signal transduction pathway abnormalities in various cancers, including chronic myeloid leukemia, prostate cancer and glioblastoma, with an eye toward translational implications. His research is best demonstrated through his studies of BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase function in chronic myeloid leukemia, his work with Brian Druker and Novartis in the development of the kinase inhibitor imatinib/Gleevec as primary therapy for CML, and his discovery that imatinib resistance is caused by BCR-ABL kinase domain mutations. This discovery led Dr. Sawyers to evaluate 2nd line Abl kinase inhibitors, such as the dual Src/Abl inhibitor BMS-354825, which is now showing remarkable clinical activity in imatinib-resistant patients. His work exemplifies the conduct of mechanistic investigations into basic cancer cell biology and exploiting the translational implications. Dr. Sawyers is past President of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, serves on the National Cancer Institute's Board of Scientific Councilors, and is a Member of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences. He has received numerous honors and awards, including the Richard & Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award (American Association of Cancer Research), the David A. Karnofsky Award (American Society of Clinical Oncology), the Dorothy P. Landon-AACR Prize for Translational Cancer Research, and in 2009, the Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award.

Institutional affiliations

Ingo K. Mellinghoff, MD, FACP is the representative at this institution.


Bone marrow transplantation
Cell Biology
Gene Transfer/Gene Therapy
Internal Medicine
Molecular Biology

Positions held

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator
Section Chief