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Charles Sawyers, MD

Dr. Sawyers is Professor of Medicine, Molecular Pharmacology and Urology at the University of California Los Angeles 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. Dr. Sawyers’ 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 (dasatinib), which is now showing remarkable clinical activity in imatinib-resistant patients. Dr. Sawyers has also developed a leading program in prostate cancer, defining critical signaling pathways for disease initiation and progression through studies in mouse models and human tissues. His work exemplifies the conduct of mechanistic investigations into basic cancer cell biology and exploiting the translational implications. Dr. Sawyers serves on the Board of the American Association of Cancer Research and the National Cancer Institute’s Board of Scientific Councilors. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of Cancer Cell, Clinical Cancer Research, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and formerly Cancer Research. Dr. Sawyers has won numerous honors and awards, including most recently the Bristol-Myers-Squibb “Freedom-to-Explore” Award, the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Association of Cancer Research and the David A. Karnofsky Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. In July 2006, Dr. Sawyers will be moving from UCLA to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York to direct a newly established program in translational oncology called Human Oncology and Pathogenesis. http://research.mednet.ucla.edu/institution/personnel?personnel_id=8702

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