Titles and Affiliations

Associate Attending Physician
Laboratory Head, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, New York
Member, 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 two and a half 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, which is ultimately lethal. Dr. Chandarlapaty is focusing on understanding how cancer cells evade the drugs designed to kill them in order to develop strategies to prevent or overcome drug resistance and improve outcomes for breast cancer patients.

Progress Thus Far

Recently, Dr. Chandarlapaty discovered how a common breast cancer mutation causes cancer growth, which will enable new studies targeting it with drugs to prevent tumor formation. He has also defined a new class of genetic changes causing resistance to hormone therapy that has the potential to open a new line of investigations and ultimately new treatments to prevent drug resistance.

What's next

During the upcoming year, Dr. Chandarlapaty and his team are focusing specifically on unraveling the genetic and molecular underpinnings of resistance to hormone therapy, anti-HER2 therapy, and checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy. Ultimately, Dr. Chandarlapaty’s findings could convert therapies that are typically only temporarily effective to durably effective therapies and change the trajectory for metastatic breast cancer.


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