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Duke’s Dr. Sallie Permar Researching AIDS Vaccine, Devotes Her Life to Maternal and Children’s Health

SalliePermar

Duke has more than a championship basketball team. Even more amazing than Coach K is Dr. P.

The photo of Dr. Sallie Permar snapped by Bill Giduz of Davidson College perfectly captures her confidence, affability, and good nature. But don’t be fooled. Behind that smile is a bad ass.

Dr. Permar is an MD, PhD and a pedigreed pediatrician with degrees from Davidson, Johns Hopkins, and Harvard Medical School. What warms the heart of this public school advocate is that Sallie is also a product of Wake County Public Schools. She graduated from Broughton High School, just up the hill from my house.

Dr. Permar’s titles at Duke are impressive, if not a tish intimidating.

Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Assistant Professor in Immunology

Assistant Professor in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

I hope 60 Minutes producers are standing by to schedule an interview with Sallie. She’s one of the few lucky ones whose work is changing the world. Sallie is a decorated doctor and researcher working on vaccines for AIDS and CMV, Cytomegalovirus, at Duke. I’m warning you to not Google Dr. Sallie Permar, lest you feel highly unaccomplished. Or maybe that’s just me…

Sallie’s contributions have been recognized by the White House, among others. Just last year she was awarded the 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.

Here’s the thing…Sallie Permar is jovial, funny, candid, and ever so approachable. She takes her work, but not herself, seriously. There’s no ego to bust through, and Sallie isn’t out to impress anyone with her accomplishments (I think I’ve already established that there are many.). She clearly loves what she does and is committed to maternal health and disease eradication.

Part of my advocacy work is with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life program. I work to provide vaccines to children in developing countries, where a child dies of a vaccine preventable disease every 20 seconds. Let that sink in… I was fortunate to travel to Uganda with Shot@Life, where many mothers spoke of the horror of AIDS. Sallie’s work in Zambia and other parts of the African continent is leading to promising breakthroughs. There were mothers in Uganda who told me their wish for their family was that their children did not die of AIDS. That conversation has stuck with me, like a pin in my heart. Imagine how heartening it is to have met Dr. Sallie Permar, the woman who might be the key to making these mothers’ wishes come true.

 

 

Fill Your Easter Basket With NC Treats

The Easter Bunny is a procrastinator. You’d think all that sugar fuels him to hop around like…well, the Energizer Bunny. Alas, he lacks organizational skills. If your Easter Bunny needs a boost this season, hop on over to fill your basket with state fare.

If there’s one state that can boast the motherlode of locally made Easter basket gems, it’s North Carolina. We have curated some ideas to make your bunny’s job easier. Shopping locally bolster’s our state’s economy, of course, but filling your basketwith  local fare truly makes for a unique gift that makes a difference.

Fill your Easter Basket with NC Treats

Piedmont Candy Company is one of the last vestiges of a family owned candy company with production in the United States. It’s based in Lexington, NC, home of more than barbecue. Try the Puffs in the citrus and fruit flavors.

Piedmont Candy Peppermint Puffs #HandmadeNC

 

Chapel Hill Toffee, Videri Chocolate Factory, and The Secret Chocolatier will satiate your chocolate cravings way better than a waxy, hollow chocolate bunny.

Videri Chocolate Factory #HandmadeNC The Secret Chocolatier #HandmadeNC

Chapel Hill Toffee #HandmadeNC

Crude Bitters & Sodas has a wonderful selection of unique bitters and shrubs. I cast my vote for the Pineapple Ginger schrub. Serve it up with some Topo vodka for the grown ups. I mean really, Easter baskets aren’t just for kids, right?

Crude Bitters Pineapple Ginger Shrub -- #HandmadeNC

Big Spoon Roasters’ Peanut Cocoa Butter isn’t a body butter but it is a balm for the soul. Eat it off the spoon. Founder Mark Overbay’s favorite snack is a big ol’ spoon of peanut butter straight from the jar. Mine too.

Big Spoon Roasters Peanut Cocoa Butter #HandmadeNC

Tonya’s Cookies are the best kind of homemade treat…they are made in someone else’s home! Tonya comes from good kitchen stock; Chapel Hill’s famous Mama Dip’s is her grandmother’s restaurant. The ever so tasty White Chocolate Pecan Crisp is my favorite.

Tonya's Cookies White Chocolate Pecan Crisp #HandmadeNC

Counter Culture Coffee will be a hit among the adults who woke up for a sunrise church service. Try the #46.