Center News Magazine: Charles Sawyers Elected to the Institute of Medicine

Monday, December 1, 2008
Charles Sawyers Charles Sawyers

Charles L. Sawyers has been elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

Dr. Sawyers is a nationally recognized physician-scientist who joined Memorial Sloan Kettering in 2006 as the first Chair of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP). HOPP was formed to bring together physician-scientists from various clinical and scientific disciplines to conduct translational research across many types of cancer. Dr. Sawyers’ own work examines how signaling pathway abnormalities in cancer cells can be exploited as targets for new cancer drugs. His current focus is on developing new treatments for patients with prostate cancer who have developed resistance to drugs that fight the cancer by blocking male sex hormones, called androgens. A promising new drug is now in clinical trials.

Dr. Sawyers came to Memorial Sloan Kettering after nearly two decades at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he was instrumental in the development of two drugs for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia — imatinib (Gleevec®) and dasatinib (Sprycel®). He is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and holds the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Chair at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is a branch of the National Academies and was established to honor professional achievement in the health sciences and to serve as a national resource for recommendations on issues related to medicine, biomedical sciences, and health. Membership in the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. Twelve members of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s faculty already are members of the IOM.