Faculty Members

Dr. Michael Sawyer


Department of Oncology

Division of Medical Oncology
  • Cross Cancer Institute Department of Medical Oncology 11560 University Ave NW
  • msawyer@ualberta.ca
    Contact details are for academic matters only.

About Me

Academic Interests
Translational cancer research, Phase I studies/Drug Development, Clinical Pharmacology of Anticancer Drugs, and Pharmacogenetics
Clinical Practice
Gastrointestinal Malignancies, Neuroendocrine Tumors, Phase I Studies


Clinical Trials Research:
My interest in clinical trials is focused on gastrointestinal malignancies and neuroendocrine tutors. Along with Dr. Quincy Chu, we are establishing a phase I program at the Cross Cancer Institute.

Fundamental/Translational Research:
My focus is on pharmacology of anticancer drugs. My research interests and collaborations are broad but are unified by the common thread of trying to understand causes of interpatient variability in terms of toxicity and efficacy. My major interest is understanding mechanisms of nephrotoxicity of chemotherapy especially antifolates and nucleoside analogues. My major collaborator in this research is Dr. Carol E. Cass, an international expert in nucleoside transport and therapeutics. Pharmacogenetics is another major interest that I developed during my training with Dr. M. Ratain. I am interested in the roles that polymorphisms play in the interpatient variation in drug elimination. I am also interested in the role that nutrition plays in the toxicity and efficacy of chemotherapy and have developed extensive collaborations with Drs. Vickie Baracos and Catherine Field. The research has been supported by the Alberta Cancer Board, Alberta Cancer Foundation, The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, The Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. I have received funding from Hoffman La Roche, Pfizer and AztraZeneca.