Charles L. Sawyers, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Elected to the National Academy of Medicine Council

Charles Sawyers

Charles L. Sawyers, MD, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI); Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Chair in Human Oncology and Pathogenesis; Chair, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Council, the Academy’s governing and oversight body, for a three-year term. Before his election to a governance role, Sawyers was elected as a NAM member in 2008. NAM consists of over 2,400 members elected in recognition of professional achievement and is one of three academies that make up the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine providing objective advice on matters of science, technology and health. 25 MSK faculty have been previously conferred with NAM membership, one of the highest honors bestowed upon scientists worldwide.

Dr. Sawyers studies mechanisms of cancer drug resistance with an eye toward developing novel therapies. He co-discovered the antiandrogen drug enzalutamide that was approved by the FDA in 2012 for treatment of advanced prostate cancer. He shared the 2009 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for the development of the ABL kinase inhibitor imatinib for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia and the second generation ABL inhibitor dasatinib to overcome imatinib resistance.

Sawyers received a BA from Princeton University in 1981 and an MD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1985, followed by internal medicine residency at UCSF. He became a HHMI Investigator in 2002 while at UCLA, and then moved to MSK in 2006 where he currently serves as the Chair of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program.

He has been recognized with other honors including the 2013 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, 2013 Taubman Prize for Excellence in Translational Medical Science, 2015 BBVA Knowledge Award in Biomedicine, 2019 STAT Biomedical Innovation Award, and 2020 Alfred G. Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics. Sawyers is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is past President of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), was appointed to the National Cancer Advisory Board by President Obama and has served on the Board of Directors of Novartis since 2013. He co-founded AACR Project GENIE, an international consortium of cancer centers that share genomic and clinical data from patients treated at their respective clinical sites, for which he received the 2021 AACR Distinguished Public Service Award.