The eighth annual Jeffrey M. Trent Lectureship in Cancer Research was held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 16, 2010. Presented by Charles L. Sawyers, M.D., director of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the lecture will be presented at Lipsett Amphitheatre, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center, Building 10 on the NIH campus.
Dr. Sawyers is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and the founding chairman of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. At Sloan-Kettering, he is establishing a group of laboratory-based translational researchers across various clinical disciplines along with the institutional infrastructure needed to enhance the application of global genomics tools to clinical trials. Dr. Sawyers' laboratory is currently focused on characterizing signal transduction pathway abnormalities in prostate cancer, with an eye toward translational applications. The impact of his research is best demonstrated by his earlier studies of BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase function in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML); by his work with Brian Druker and Novartis in the development of the kinase inhibitor imatinib/Gleevec as primary therapy for CML ; and by his discovery that imatinib resistance is caused by BCR-ABL kinase domain mutations. This work led Dr. Sawyers to evaluate second-generation, ABL kinase inhibitors, such as the dual SRC/ABL inhibitor dasatinib, which received fast-track approval by the FDA in June 2006.
Dr. Sawyers' work in prostate cancer has helped define critical signaling pathways for disease initiation and progression through studies in mouse models and human tissues. This pre-clinical work led to the development of the novel antiandrogen MDV3100, a small-molecule inhibitor discovered in collaboration with UCLA chemist Michael Jung that targets the increased levels of androgen receptor found in hormone refractory disease. Based on impressive clinical results in a Phase I/II study, MDV3100 is currently in a Phase III registration trial.
Dr. Sawyers is past president of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and has served as a member of the National Cancer Institute's board of scientific counselors. He has won numerous honors and awards, including the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award and the Dorothy Landon Prize from the American Association of Cancer Research; the David A. Karnofsky Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology; and the 2009 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine.
Dr. Trent was the National Human Genome Research Institute's (NHGRI) founding Scientific Director, serving in this role for more than nine years. His leadership and vision was instrumental in establishing NHGRI's Division of Intramural Research as one of the premier research programs in the world devoted to genetics and genomics. In recognition of his significant contributions to the research environment at NIH, NHGRI established the annual Jeffrey M. Trent Lectureship in Cancer Research in 2003. This lecture is given by a prominent cancer researcher who brings the kind of energy, creativity and enthusiasm to cancer research that Dr. Trent has exemplified throughout his career.
Ms. Claire Kelso
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Last Reviewed: April 2, 2012