President Obama Names Physician-Scientist Charles Sawyers to National Cancer Advisory Board

Pictured: Charles Sawyers

Physician-scientist Charles Sawyers

President Barack Obama announced on December 6 his intent to appoint Memorial Sloan Kettering physician-scientist Charles Sawyers as one of six new members of the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB).

“I am grateful these accomplished men and women have agreed to join this Administration, and I’m confident they will serve ably in these important roles,” President Obama said in a White House press release. “I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years.”

The NCAB and the President’s Cancer Panel are the only advisory bodies at either the National Institutes of Health or the Department of Health and Human Services whose members are appointed by the President. The primary task of the NCAB is to advise the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and ultimately the President of the United States on a range of issues affecting the nation’s cancer program and, specifically, NCI operations. The NCAB reviews and recommends grants and cooperative agreements following technical and scientific peer review.

Revolutionizing the Molecular Treatment of Cancer

Dr. Sawyers, Chair of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, is widely recognized as someone who is revolutionizing the molecular treatment of cancer. His research involves investigating the signaling pathways that promote the growth of cancer cells, with an eye toward designing new treatments.

His laboratory discovered the recently approved prostate cancer drug enzalutamide (Xtandi®), and Dr. Sawyers has been instrumental in the development of two drugs for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia: imatinib (Gleevec®) and dasatinib (Sprycel®), which work by blocking the activity of BCR-ABL, the mutant protein that causes the disease.

Dr. Sawyers is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and is President-Elect of the American Association for Cancer Research. He is past President of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. He has received numerous honors and awards, including the Dorothy P. Landon-AACR Prize for Translational Cancer Research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award, and the Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award.

Dr. Sawyers received his MD degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1985. He joined Memorial Sloan Kettering in 2006 after nearly two decades at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“Dr. Sawyers will be a wonderful addition to the NCAB – a body that advises on some of our nation’s most pressing issues in cancer research and treatment,” says Memorial Sloan Kettering President and CEO Craig B. Thompson. “His appointment is also a fitting tribute to a man whose work has made profound contributions to research in cancer-related molecular therapeutics.”


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Congratulations. There should be more people like you in this world. You have accomplished much. There needs to be a cure for cancer since so many people seem to get it. Wishing you a successful and happy future.

A great big Thank you.Well Done.

Thanks so much for all your good work, Dr.Sawyers!

Almost everyone we know has had someone close to them that has been touched by cancer.
Fighting cancer should be a national priority. I would so much rather see money go to medical research instead of to the Pentagon.

Thank you for your hard work. I have heard stories that there have been treatments, however the cost is so high that they cannot prescribe the meds for patients. I hope your research and treatments are within a cost range that all can have access. Thanks again.

Congratulations on your appointment and thank you for all you do to save lives!

You have my heartfelt thanks if your research did NOT involve painful cruelty and the deaths of innocent animals in your laboratories etc. I thank God for the wonderful and moral scientists who find humane alternatives like Dr John Pippin and his team of researchers at University of Coimbra who have been working on a test to reduce the need for animals in cosmetic tests for instance.

The test, called Sensitiser Predictor, could abolish the use of animals in product testing of the cosmetics industry.

Dr. John Pippin, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, says, “It’s especially inhumane and especially indefensible [to use live animals] when there are alternatives in hand which not only would spare the animals the trauma of going through this but also would provide a better educational experience.”

thank you for your work on cancer.
I'm one of the lucky ones since I've beaten cancer twice.

As someone who is living with CML, on a daily dose of Gleevec, I thank you and hope you can continue to help with development of more specific treatments for the many different cancers.

Thank you for your commitment to finding a new method to treat cancer.

Thank you for your commitment to finding a new method to treat cancer.

There will always be a difference, you have made that difference. Thank you Dr. Sawyers

Thank you. There is still a glimmer of hope.

Thank you for your wonderful work. Stay well and keep the faith!

As a three time cancer survivor, I definitely feel a targeted approach to cancer is much less toxic to the rest of our body. Thank you for thinking outside the box!

December 6, 2012
President Obama, thank you for appointing, Mr. Charles Sawyers Dr. Scientist to the: Physician-Scientist for the National Cancer Advisory Board.
We are honored to know and congratulate you Sir. Dr. Charles Sawyers, Also wish you, many grate victories in the work of research as thousands of people with cancer are Praying for miracles done by scientist researchers and adding to that a blessing so the cures can be found. Mr. Charles Sawyers, I wish you the best for many years. Thank you. Blessings. Maria Celia Hernandez 12-14-2012

As a cancer survivor, I am happy to hear this news. I wish you all of the best as you will be dealing with a lot of political red tape. You probably already have. Congratulations.

Thank you so much !!!

Well done Dr Sawyers for all your work You are appreciated by more people than you think Many of us have been touched by cancer if not ourselves then in our families and friends Any progress you make is good Thankyou

Thank you. This morning I got a call from my doctor, I might have cancer in my liver, so I'll have to wait untill january for more examinations. But I would still have send this thank your for doing such a good work for people.

Thank you !!!!!!

Thank you so much !!!!!!

My mother died of cancer years ago. Bless you for the great work you are doing.

As a cancer survivor, I wanted to stand up and thank you for all your amazing work.

Pity you were not around in 1998 and 2003, lost my parents to this awful are here now. Wishing you a worldwide success.

Congratulations are in order for this high honor and the research work of you and your colleagues. The more we learn about the body and its mechanisms for addressing disease the better are our approaches to healing.

I am hopeful that the Obama administration will address food policy, energy policy, environmental policy, climate change, and the other factors that contribute to the development of cancer in many cases. As a health care professional and strong campaigner for President Obama in both elections, I keep my eyes on the choices we humans make on Planet Earth and how they contribute to the disease we experience in society and in our bodies.

Congratulations and thank you for your contributions to the healing of cancer!

Congratulations Dr. Sawyer! Keep up the wonderful work you do!

Congratulations! You and your staff of Doctors do amazing work. I am one who has benefitted from your research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. When I was diagnosed with CNS cancer, the Protocals created by you and your staff (Dr. Lisa DeAngeles) have continued my life for the last l0 years when I was given no more than 20% initiallly. Thank you

Thank you so much for everything you do Dr. Sawyers!

Many thanks Dr Sawyers for all the wonderful work that you do. Many people are affected by cancer and thanks to your continuous work hopefully the word cancer will not feel like a death sentence. Godbless you.

Thank you very much for all your hard work!

Thank you for your wonderful work! May it continue!

Thank you, Dr. Sawyers -- you are saving so many lives -- how wonderful.


Thank-you, Dr. Sawyer. Cancer affects many, personally, or through family and friends.
Your work improves lives - brings health and hope.
Your time and effort are appreciated.
Again, thank-you so very much!

Thank you for all of the hard work you have put into this incredible research and innovation. Your efforts will save and improve many, many lives.

God bless you and thank you for all the work you are doing.

Thank you, Doctor Sawyers, for your contributions. All of us who have been touched by this disease appreciate those, like you, so dedicated to controlling and eliminating this disease. I wish you all the best and success in your future endeavors.

Such a difference you are making for the world. Thank you for all of your contributions.

Thank you, Dr. Sawyers, for using your skills, following your instincts, and applying your life's focus for the betterment of others as the fight against cancer continues.
Bless you for your work.

Congratulations Dr. Sawyers

Thank You Dr. Sawyers for all your hard work, and great success in the future,
and thank you to care2 for bringing the Doctor to my attention, I would never have known otherwise.

Thank you for the work you do toward eradicating cancer which takes so many lives.

Thank you Dr. Sawyers for all your hard work, and great success in the future, also I would like to thank Care2 for bringing this to my attention as I would never had known of Dr. Sawyers otherwise.

If anyone knows anything about bladder cancer, in this case that's been treated with chemotherapy and removal of part of the bladder, please write me. My mother has bladder cancer and it keeps recurring.

Congratulations Dr.Sawyers on your new appointment.

Thanks to you and your teams

THANK YOU for all you do!

Thank you doesn't even begin to convey everyone's thoughts here -well done!