Duke School of Medicine Creates Office for Physician-Scientist Development; Names Permar Associate Dean

Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Sallie Permar, MD, PhD

The Duke University School of Medicine today announced it has created a new Office for Physician-Scientist Development and named Sallie Permar, MD, PhD, associate dean for physician-scientist development. She will lead the new office. The announcement was made by Mary E. Klotman, MD, dean of the Duke University School of Medicine, and Colin S. Duckett, PhD, vice dean for basic science for the school.

Dr. Permar is a physician scientist focusing on the prevention and treatment of neonatal viral infections. She is a professor in the departments of pediatrics, molecular genetics and microbiology, and immunology and 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.  

The Office for Physician-Scientist Development will serve as the School of Medicine’s central resource and will collaborate with departments, centers, and institutes to support the training needs and early faculty transition of physician-scientists.

In her role as associate dean, Dr. Permar will focus on the recruitment, retention and development of physician-scientists in the School of Medicine, in all departments, centers, and institutes. She and her team will facilitate a strategic plan for physician-scientist development growth areas and develop new initiatives related to physician-scientist research and training. Under Dr. Permar’s direction, this new office will work to enhance collaboration of existing resources and programs at Duke and will oversee institute-wide and national physician-scientist development awards housed at Duke.

Dr. Permar, along with Scott Palmer, MD, professor of medicine and immunology; and David Harpole, MD, professor of surgery, are principal investigators (PIs) for two new R38 awards from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Both awards provide funding to support a dedicated research track for resident-investigators within the departments of pediatrics, medicine, and surgery. Permar also has been named the next program director for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development-sponsored Pediatric Scientist Development Program. 

Duke also was named as one of five recipients nationally of The Burroughs Wellcome Fund Physician-Scientist Institutional Award, which provides support to address training gaps and the high rate of attrition of physician-scientists in the basic sciences. Rasheed Gbadegesin, MD, MBBS, a professor of pediatrics and medicine, will serve as PI on this project.