Charles Sawyers

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Charles L. Sawyers
Charles Sawyers.jpg
Born Charles Lazelle Sawyers[1]
1959 (age 57–58)
Nashville, Tennessee
Education Johns Hopkins University
Medical career
Profession Physician
Institutions Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Research Leukemia/Prostate Cancer
Notable prizes Lasker Clinical Award (2009)
BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award (2014)

Charles L. Sawyers (/ˈsɔɪərz/) is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a physician-scientist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. His work in the lab builds on the success of molecularly targeted cancer drugs with a focus on developing a new generation of treatment options for patients.

Sawyers holds the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Chair in Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program. Sawyers is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2009 Lasker Clinical Award,[2] which recognized him for his part in advancing treatments for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), a relatively rare disease that strikes about 5,000 people per year in the United States. He played a key role in the development of imatinib (Gleevec) and dasatinib (Sprycel), two drugs that together have transformed CML from a fatal cancer into one that is nearly always treatable. Imatinib was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2001, and dasatinib was approved in 2006.

Along with Brian J. Druker of Oregon Health and Science University and Moshe Talpaz of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Sawyers helped design the first clinical trial for imatinib, including selecting which patients were most likely to benefit from the drug.

Prior to Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Sawyers worked at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center for nearly 18 years. He has an M.D. from Johns Hopkins University. He is married with two children and lives in New York City.




  1. ^ Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Annual Scientific Report, The Institute, 1990, p. 507.
  2. ^ "2009 Lasker Awards Honor Trailblazers in Medical Research and Public Service". 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2009-11-11. [dead link]

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