PHILADELPHIA — The Fellows of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) have elected Charles L. Sawyers, MD, FAACR, as their President-Elect for 2020–2021. He was elected to the position in early June. He will assume the presidency during the 2021 AACR Annual Meeting.
Sawyers holds the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Chair in Human Oncology and Pathogenesis and is chair of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He is an attending physician at Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases in New York, a professor at the Joan & Sanford Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University, and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).
As a world-renowned physician-scientist and leader in the development of targeted therapies for cancer, 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. 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.
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As the AACR Academy President-Elect, 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. Collectively, Fellows of the AACR Academy are charged with:
Identifying scientific priorities that contribute to the AACR’s programs and activities and thereby drive future progress in cancer research;
Influencing science and public policy by creating and/or signing letters addressed to members of the U.S. Congress and to the president’s administration regarding important scientific or policy issues as needed;
Advocating for increased federal funding for cancer research and cancer-related sciences;
Participating in special meetings to discuss how to accelerate advances in cancer research;
Mentoring the next generation of cancer scientists working in all research settings;
Assisting the AACR in educating the public about cancer, the importance of the AACR, and the value of cancer research to public health and the conquest of cancer.