Dr. Permar is a physician scientist focusing on the prevention and treatment of neonatal viral infections. She leads a research laboratory investigating immune protection against vertical transmission of neonatal viral pathogens, namely HIV and cytomegalovirus (CMV), using human cohorts and nonhuman primate models. Dr. Permar has made important contributions to the development of vaccines for prevention of vertical HIV transmission, defining both innate and adaptive immune responses that are associated with protection against infant HIV acquisition. Moreover, Dr. Permar is leading the development of HIV vaccine strategies in maternal/infant nonhuman primate models and clinical vaccine trials in infants. Dr. Permar has also contributed to understanding the immunology of perinatal CMV transmission and the pathogenesis of postnatal infection in preterm infants. Dr. Permar developed the nonhuman primate model of congenital CMV infection and uses this model for defining the immune correlates of protection against CMV transmission and vaccine development.
Dr. Permar has a PhD in Microbiology/Immunology from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and completed her clinical training in pediatric infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital in Boston. She has received several prestigious early-stage investigator awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE) and the Society for Pediatrics Research (SPR) Young Investigator Award.