Center for Discovery and Innovation Director Perlin Named ‘Outstanding Scientist’ by MDAdvantage

December 20, 2019

David S. Perlin, Ph.D., the chief scientific officer and senior vice president of the Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation, received the “Outstanding Scientist” award as part of the 2020 EJI Excellence in Medicine awards.

Dr. Perlin was cited for “his significant accomplishments as a researcher and visionary in the development of innovative therapies to combat antimicrobial resistance,” according to the EJI awards citation, announced by MDAdvantage Insurance Company, a leading provider of medical professional liability insurance.

“Bringing Dr. David Perlin to Hackensack Meridian Health strengthened our health network’s commitment to be a leader for positive change,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health. “The latest award shows that his scientific work is indeed outstanding, and we are glad to have him and his world-class program.”

“It is a great honor to receive this award,” said Dr. Perlin. “I have always tried to make my work meaningful by tackling emerging unmet medical needs. I am delighted to continue this work at the Center for Discovery and Innovation.”

Dr. Perlin joined the Center for Discovery and Innovation in January 2019. In May, he received a $33.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop new antibiotics to overcome deadly bacteria in hospitals that have become resistant to current treatments.

In one of his most recent accomplishments, his group explained the molecular mechanisms for drug resistance in Candida auris, a deadly fungal infection that is currently one of the most high-profile emerging threats in health care. Dr. Perlin and his colleagues also developed the first comprehensive rapid diagnostic test for pathogen identification and drug resistance of the fungus. His group has worked closely with the CDC on this epidemic in New York and New Jersey, and other global health departments.

Over a period of about 30 years, Dr. Perlin has been at the forefront of scientific research into antimicrobial drug resistance. He helped develop a number of novel therapeutics and diagnostics, some of which are now commercial products. He also developed a wide range of domestic and global programs addressing both hospital- and community-associated drug resistance. His team of researchers has developed molecular diagnostic products for the CDC and local hospitals for multidrug resistant outbreak pathogens including drug-resistance determinants. He has worked with numerous device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, as well as with the FDA and EMA. He also serves as an advisory board member to numerous pharmaceutical, biotech and diagnostic companies for development of novel therapeutics and diagnostics targeting drug-resistant pathogens.

Prior to joining the Center for Discovery and Innovation, Dr. Perlin spent nearly 20 years as executive director of the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School’s Public Health Research Institute (PHRI), a 78-year-old specialized center for global infectious diseases. He was also director of the Rutgers Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL), one of 13 NIH-designated national centers for high-threat pathogen research, and was also a professor of microbiology, biochemistry and molecular genetics at the school. At PHRI, he oversaw programs to address multidrug resistant bacterial and fungal pathogens, both locally and abroad. He has published more than 260 papers and book chapters and co-authored two books. Dr. Perlin’s awards include being named a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

The EJI Excellence in Medicine awards are considered to be among the highest honors presented to New Jersey’s medical community.

About the Center for Discovery and Innovation:

The Center for Discovery and Innovation, a newly established member of Hackensack Meridian Health, seeks to translate current innovations in science to improve clinical outcomes for patients with cancer, infectious diseases and other life-threatening and disabling conditions. The CDI, housed in a fully renovated state-of-the-art facility, offers world-class researchers a support infrastructure and culture of discovery that promotes science innovation and rapid translation to the clinic.

About MDAdvantage

MDAdvantage is a leading medical professional liability insurance company that is committed to supporting physician initiatives that increase patient safety, educate the health care community and invest in the future of the health care system. In addition to sponsoring the EJI Excellence in Medicine awards program, MDAdvantage® also publishes MDAdvisor, a peer-reviewed, MEDLINE®-indexed journal for the medical community. For more information on MDAdvantage, call 888-355-5551 or visit