Dr. Perlmutter is the former Executive Vice President for Research and Development at Amgen, Inc., the world’s largest biotechnology company. A graduate of Reed College (Portland, Oregon), Dr. Perlmutter received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Washington University (St. Louis) in 1979. Thereafter he pursued clinical training in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and at the University of California at San Francisco. From 1981 to 1984 he was a Lecturer in the Division of Biology at the California Institute of Technology. He joined the Departments of Medicine and Biochemistry and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Washington (Seattle) in 1984, and in 1989 became Professor and Chairman of the Department of Immunology there.
During this period, Dr. Perlmutter focused his scientific efforts on the elucidation of signaling pathways governing lymphocyte development and activation. In 1997 he left the University of Washington to join Merck and Co., where, as Executive Vice President, Worldwide Basic and Preclinical Research, he helped to craft strategies that led to the introduction of new therapies for serious infections and for diabetes, as well as vaccines to prevent cervical cancer and shingles. He left Merck in 2001 to lead the worldwide research and development efforts at Amgen, Inc.
Under his direction, Amgen successfully re-focused its discovery efforts on the amelioration of grievous illness, increasing its product portfolio by five-fold. Dr. Perlmutter is also a director of Stem Cells, Inc., Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Reed College, and was recently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Systems Biology, a not-for-profit research institute based in Seattle, Washington. He was previously President of the American Association of Immunologists, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.