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Alums Awarded

Sallie Permar

PhD grads win prestigious Presidential honor, thank Bloomberg School mentors.


Two Bloomberg School alumni—Andrea Creanga, MD, PhD '09 and Sallie Permar, MD, PhD '04—are among 102 researchers nationwide selected to receive the 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Permar (top right), now an associate professor of pediatrics at Duke University, is modestly incredulous about receiving the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals early in their research careers.

“I’m still asking, ‘Do you really mean me,’” she says. “It’s so unbelievable that my work would get recognized on a national level.”

Permar is working on a vaccine to halt maternal transmission of cytomegalovirus to infants. Her aim is to prevent birth defects from CMV, a common infection that affects 40,000 infants and causes lasting neurologic deficits in 25 percent of them.

She is grateful to Professor Diane Griffin, MD, PhD, for supportive mentoring at the Bloomberg School.

Andrea CreangaCreanga (bottom right), now a senior scientist leading the national Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System at the CDC, described her PECASE award as “the best present–one that also brought joy to my CDC colleagues and professors at Hopkins.” Most notably: Gates Institute Director Amy Tsui, PhD, her advisor and mentor.

“I conducted my dissertation research in Kumasi, Ghana examining the provision and use of emergency contraception,” she said. “Throughout my PhD I worked as a research assistant for the Gates Institute and had quite a number of opportunities to conduct international research.”

Earn a PhD at the Bloomberg School

Gates Institute

Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology