The Fellows of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) have elected Charles L. Sawyers, MD, chair of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP) at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), as their President-Elect for 2020–2021. He will assume the presidency during the 2021 AACR Annual Meeting.
As the AACR Academy President-Elect, Dr. Sawyers will work with the other members of the AACR Academy’s Steering Committee and other elected Fellows of the AACR Academy to provide ongoing advice and counsel to the AACR leadership on scientific topics of timeliness and significance as well as other matters of importance.
A world-renowned physician-scientist and leader in the development of targeted therapies for cancer, Dr. Sawyers investigates the signaling pathways that drive the growth and drug resistance of cancer cells. He played a critical role in developing the molecularly targeted cancer drug imatinib (Gleevec) for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia. Dr. Sawyers’ research into treatments for cancer that becomes resistant to established therapies led to the development of dasatinib (Sprycel) for patients with imatinib-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia and enzalutamide (Xtandi) for metastatic prostate cancer that has become resistant to docetaxel. In addition to serving as chair of HOPP at MSK, Dr. Sawyers holds the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Chair in Human Oncology and Pathogenesis and is an internist and hematologic oncologist.
Dr. Sawyers, an AACR member since 1997, was elected as a Fellow of the AACR Academy in 2014. Among his many contributions to the AACR, he served as the President of the AACR from 2013-2014 and as a member of the Board of Directors from 2003-2006. Dr. Sawyers conceptualized AACR Project GENIE and has served as chair of the AACR Project GENIE Steering Committee since its inception in 2015. He received the AACR-Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship (2019); the AACR Team Science Award (2015); the Dorothy Landon-AACR Prize for Translational Medicine (2009); and the AACR-Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award (2005). Dr. Sawyers was associate editor for the AACR scientific journals Cancer Research (2000-2004) and Clinical Cancer Research (2002-2006). Additionally, Dr. Sawyers served as scientific editor for the AACR’s journal Cancer Discovery.