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Duke Researcher Receives White House Honor


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DURHAM, N.C. – Sallie Permar, M.D., Ph.D., of Duke University School of Medicine, was one of 102 researchers honored by President Obama with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.

Permar is associate professor of pediatrics, assistant professor of immunology, and assistant professor of molecular genetics and microbiology. In October, Permar was the senior author on a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, describing a newly-isolated substance in breast milk that inhibits HIV replication and may protect infants from acquiring the virus from mothers who carry the infection.

In 2012, Permar received a New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health.

“Dr. Permar has distinguished herself at Duke and among her peers nationally as an innovative researcher recognized for her work in immune protection against mother-to-child transmission of HIV and other viruses,” said Nancy C. Andrews, M.D., Ph.D., dean of Duke University School of Medicine. “This is a well-deserved honor, and I’d like to congratulate Sallie for this outstanding achievement.”

The presidential early career awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.

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