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David H.  Perlmutter, MD

  • Physician-in-Chief and Scientific Director of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC​
  • Vira I. Heinz Professor and Chair, Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

David H. Perlmutter, MD, is physician-in-chief and scientific director of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. He also is the Vira I. Heinz Professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, as well as professor of cell biology and physiology at the university.

Dr. Perlmutter has carried out basic research on alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency for more than 20 years. His work has led to many new concepts about the pathobiology of liver disease in this deficiency and has suggested several new concepts for chemoprophylaxis of chronic liver injury, hepatocellular carcinoma and emphysema in this genetic disease. He is the principal investigator on three NIH R01 grants in this area and also now holds four other NIH grants including the Child Health Research Center of Excellence Award for training pediatric physician scientist in the molecular basis of pediatric disease.

His research has been recognized by numerous awards including the E. Mead Johnson Award for Research in Pediatrics. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He has served as the president of the Society of Pediatric Research and is now a member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute for Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases.  In 2008, Dr. Perlmutter was elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Perlmutter earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and his medical degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine. He trained in pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition at Children’s Hospital Boston.

After several years on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Perlmutter joined the faculty at Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. From 1992–2001, he was the director of the Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition at St. Louis Children’s, and in 1996 he became the first to hold the Donald Strominger Endowed Professorship of Washington University School of Medicine. In 2001 he left St. Louis to take his current position in Pittsburgh.

He is a member of numerous other advisory boards, foundation boards and editorial boards. Since joining Children’s Hospital in 2001, Dr. Perlmutter has led an effort to expand the hospital’s basic and clinical research program so that it is ideally poised to investigate the molecular basis of disease and to develop innovative therapies. Children’s Hospital is now the fastest growing pediatric research program in the country in terms of NIH funding from 2000–2005.

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