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Sarat Chandarlapaty, MD, PhD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, New York

Titles and Affiliations

Professor of Medicine
Member and Lab Head, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program
Director, Developmental Research Program, MSK Breast SPORE
Section Head for Translational Research, Breast Service, Department of Medicine

Chair, BCRF Scientific Advisory Board

Research area

Deciphering the underlying biology of drug resistance to improve patient response to targeted therapies.


Advances in cancer therapy have been a major contributor to the decline in breast cancer deaths over the last three decades. Even with these advances, however, breast cancers have the ability to evolve, adapt, and become resistant to drugs, resulting in tumor growth and metastasis to distant sites in the body, an uncurable stage of the disease. Dr. Chandarlapaty is focusing on understanding why treatments that initially are effective against breast cancer become ineffective over time, and then developing new approaches to prevent or overcome drug resistance.

Progress Thus Far

Dr. Chandarlapaty’s BCRF-funded research has advanced our understanding of how resistance to treatment develops in breast cancer. His team has uncovered several key findings in resistance to anti-HER2 and hormone receptor directed therapies, including a promising strategy to overcome CDK4/6 inhibitor resistance, which is currently under development for clinical use. They also identified novel mutations in the hormone receptor that prevent a response to antiestrogen therapies. His team then tested newer antiestrogen drugs for overcoming this particular form of resistance with some success and will continue to optimize the treatment.

What’s next

In the coming year, his team will continue to refine their targeted approach to prevent resistance to hormone-directed therapy and delve deeper in the causation of resistance. Their results will help move us closer to more resilient treatments that can block tumor evolution and prevent the development of drug resistance.


Sarat Chandarlapaty, MD, PhD, is an Associate Attending medical oncologist and a Laboratory Head in the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He earned his medical degree at the Wake Forest School of Medicine and his PhD at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Chandarlapaty completed his residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital, and his fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. A major focus of his work has been to characterize the significance of alterations present in metastatic tumors that have progressed following targeted therapies such as antiestrogens or CDK4/6 inhibitors, as well as to develop models of resistant cancer for testing newer therapeutic strategies.

BCRF Investigator Since


Donor Recognition

The David Yurman Award

Areas of Focus

Treatment Tumor Biology