WHY REMISSION FAILS
‘Great Teacher’ Sawyers Describes Cancer Drug Resistance

Dr. Charles Sawyers lectures at NIH.
Dr. Charles Sawyers lectures at NIH.

Dr. Charles Sawyers has spent much of the last two decades trying to outsmart relentlessly clever and resilient tumor biology. Over the years, he’s used a simple formula with great success: Serendipity plus collaboration mixed with persistence equals remarkable results.

An HHMI investigator since 2002 who currently chairs the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, he shared other lessons he’s learned recently at a talk in NIH’s Lipsett Amphitheater.

Sawyers delivered “The Changing Landscape of Cancer Drug Resistance,” the Clinical Center’s 2017 Distinguished Clinical Research Scholar and Educator-in-Residence Lecture, a segment in the Contemporary Clinical Medicine Great Teachers series.

Part traditional Grand Rounds, part pep talk for young investigators early in their research careers, the presentation concluded Sawyers’ 2-day visit to NIH, where he met with clinical and lab fellows, medical students and other trainees as well as various senior investigators for state-of-the-science conversations.

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Temporary Manufacturing Facility Parked at CRC

The new trailer is located at the ambulance entry to the Clinical Research Center on the west side of the hospital. Several other trailers are on order.
The new trailer is located at the ambulance entry to the Clinical Research Center on the west side of the hospital. Several other trailers are on order.

PHOTOS: ERNIE BRANSON

It’s not the site of a film crew and nobody’s living in it. But NCI investigators soon will spend long hours in a 53-foot trailer parked by the ambulance entrance on the west side of the Clinical Research Center. And more trailers are on order or in the design phase.

From the outside, the white trailer bearing NIH’s logo looks plain, but this is no ordinary rig. The aseptic, state-of-the-art module is a mini version of a large, sterile product manufacturing facility, explained Kurt Last, executive vice president of WorkingBuildings Group. His team supported NIH’s Office of Research Facilities by designing the module and worked with NCI to specify the manufacturing equipment in it. They’re now busy testing the controls, support systems and software so Trailer 1 is ready to spring into service in April.

Trailer 1, officially labeled CC TR 10B, will be used by NCI’s Surgery Branch to engineer immune cells for cancer therapy. At least three more modules are planned to help fulfill NIH’s sterile product and cell-processing needs.

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