Charles Sawyers shared the 2009 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for his role in the development of molecularly-targeted treatments for chronic myeloid leukemia, converting a fatal cancer into a manageable chronic condition. His more recent work led to the discovery of a small molecule inhibitor of prostate cancer currently being evaluated in a phase III registration trial. He is a pioneer in applying the results of cancer genomics studies to patient care.
Sawyers is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the founding director of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences. The Geoffrey Beene Foundation named him a Rock Star of Science in 2010.