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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Good luck in your new capacity! And congrats!

What a special man, and what a gift to the world! Thank you Dr. Sawyers.

Gracias, Doctor.

Cancer is a horrible thing for people to go through. Thank you for the work you are doing for those affected. Blessings and prayers sent to those going through this.

Thank You for your dedication and great work.

Thank you, Dr. Sawyers. The wonderful work you're doing means hope for those involved in the battle against this devastating disease. God bless you and your team.

As a Hospice R N I hope your research and continued perserverence lightens my case load so much that I have to find another specialty. With love and thanks to you and staff. CAJO

Thank you for all your good and useful work. And congratulations!


Dr. Sawyers, Congratulations on your appointment to the NCAB. And more importantly, thank you for using your skills to make a difference for humanity. Its truly a noble calling that will benefit so many people now and in the future.

Eat organic!

Appreciate your work in combating cancer. Keep it up :)

Thank you and may you be blessed.

thank you for your work...we should all hope and pray for the day when cancer is just a word we look up in a dictionary!!!

Congratulations to you on the appointment and thank you for your efforts to make the world a healthier place. Your hard work is appreciated by many!

Congratulations! Thank you! Keep up the good work, please!

thank you Sir for your work that is so vital to helping people with all sorts of cancer! I am unsure whether my husband received your latest prostate drug but he has been through it and is now trying to recuperate from the side effects he was left with from the radiation - prostatic calcification (which I cannot find mentioned anywhere).
Thank God and others like you for developing treatments so that he is still with me!
Karen Aube

Congratulations on your achievements Dr. Sawyer's. I wish you very much success and thank you for all your wonderful work!

Congratulations on your achievements Dr. Sawyer. I wish you much success and thank you for all your wonderful work!

Thank you for your great work. Make Cancer obsolete.

Thank you so much Dr. Sawyers for your dedication in fighting this disease.

Thank You for your great work !!

My grandpa, Papa, is going through radiation treatment for prostate cancer right now at age 93. I really hope it works! I hope you'll have found a cure by the time he's finished with radiation if this treatment doesn't cure his cancer! Keep up the good work of a search for a cure! Thanks for all you do!

Thank You for your great work!!!

Thank you from the heart for all you've done and will do for the desecration iof Cancer. My best wishes for making a huge difference in research from your new position. Congratulations, sir.

Your efforts are greatly appreciated. Thank you for all you do.

Congratulations Dr. Sawyers!

A huge thanks to you for all of your hard work and may you be blessed. Hopefully, sometime soon in the future cancer will just be a bad memory. It has taken many loved ones from many people and I hope God blesses you and guides you in your work.

Thank you.

Thank you so much!

Thank you for all your efforts and all the work you do

I'd like to thank you for all the people who've benefitted from your work and can't thank you themselves for a variety of reasons.Thank you Dr.Sawyer from all of the unnamed recipients

Thank you.


Thank You Dr.Sawyers, for everything you do to help save us from this horrible disease. Kudos to President Obama for selecting you also.


Ich möchte mich bedanken,für die Gute Arbeit!Danke Dr.Sawyers.Und danke auch an Care2,ohne Euch hätte ich davon nichts gewußt!

Thank you Sir and thank you President Obama


The incredible work that you do, is beyond belief. Having been closely connected to one form of cancer or another, for a number of years, I thank you with all my heart.

Thank you so much for your tremendous contribution to all of us, for we all know someone who has been affected by cancer. Bless you and your family.

Congratulations Dr. Sawyers, and thank you so much for your hard work and dedication to eliminating this terrible disease that afflicts so many people.

congratulations on all your good work researching cancer thankyou

Congrats on all the hard work! Please keep it up.

Thank you for your work. We need more people like you .

Ich bin allen Ärzten sehr dankbar,die unermütlich ein Mittel gegen den Krebs suchen!Macht weiter so.LG Manuela Annofsky

Thank you, Dr. Sawyers for all your hard work!

Great news to know there is hope for cancer patients , thank you Dr. Sawyers

Great news to know there is hope for cancer patients , thank you Dr. Sawyers

Thank you so much!