Sallie Permar, M.D., Ph.D.
Specialties and Expertise
- Pediatric Infectious Disease
- Pediatric Infectious Diseases
- CMV Infection
I am passionate about giving children the best possible start to a full and healthy life. As chair and pediatrician-in-chief, I am committed to bringing the engines of medical care, research, and education closer together—translating our findings from the lab to the clinic, and teaching the next generation of physicians and pediatrician-scientists.
Sallie Permar, M.D., Ph.D is an eminent physician-scientist who focuses on the treatment and prevention of neonatal viral infections. She serves as Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine and Pediatrician-in-Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and NYP Komansky Children’s Hospital. She is also Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Interim) at Weill Cornell Medicine.
A prominent physician-scientist in pediatrics, Dr. Permar’s research focuses on the treatment and prevention of viral infections in newborns. She and her team are working on the development of vaccines to prevent mother-to-child transmission of viruses such as HIV, Zika and cytomegalovirus (CMV)—the most common congenital infection and a leading cause of birth defects, affecting roughly one in 150 newborns. She discovered in her research a protein in breast milk that neutralizes HIV, and developed a nonhuman primate model for congenital CMV infection, now being used to test CMV vaccine strategies.
Board-certified in pediatrics and pediatric infectious disease, Dr. Permar has been honored with several prestigious awards, including the 2014 Young Investigator Award, the 2020 E. Mead Johnson Award from the Society for Pediatric Research, the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, and in 2020, she received the Gale and Ira Drukier Prize in Children’s Health Research from Weill Cornell Medicine and was inducted into the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. She is a member of numerous professional organizations such as the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Pediatric Society and the American Academy of Microbiology, and she sits on the board of the National CMV Foundation.
Dr. Permar has published nearly 150 studies in journals including Nature Medicine, Cell, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and JAMA Pediatrics, as well as top publications in her field, and her work has been consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. She serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Clinical Investigation and the Journal of Virology.
She has led a number of NIH-funded training programs to develop physician-scientists, including serving as director of the Pediatric Scientist Development Program, which is supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) and the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs (AMSPDC), and which trains pediatric subspecialists across the nation for a career in pediatric health research.
Dr. Permar received a Bachelor of Science from Davidson College and went on to earn a doctorate in microbiology/immunology from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and a medical degree from Harvard Medical School. She completed her clinical training in pediatric infectious diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital. After serving as an instructor and then assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, she joined the faculty of Duke University School of Medicine, where she served as professor of pediatrics, immunology, and molecular genetics and microbiology; associate dean of physician-scientist development; and founding director of the Children’s Health and Discovery Institute.
- American Board of Pediatrics
- American Board of Pediatrics (Pediatric Infectious Diseases)
Clinical and Academic Positions
- Pediatrician-in-Chief - NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
- Chairman of Pediatrics - Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University
- Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Interim) - Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University
Education and Training
- M.D., Harvard Medical School, 2004
- Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University, 2004
- B.S., Davidson College, 1997
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