Dr. Permar's work focuses on maternal correlates of immune protection against vertical transmission of neonatal viral pathogens. She has utilized the nonhuman primate model of HIV/AIDS, Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) infection of rhesus monkeys, to characterize the virus-specific immune responses and virus evolution in breast milk. Furthermore, the Permar lab is characterizing HIV/SIV vaccine-elicited immune responses in breast milk of vaccinated rhesus monkeys, as a platform for developing a maternal vaccine regimen for protection against breast milk transmission of HIV. In addition, Dr. Permar's lab has advanced the understanding of HIV-specific immune responses and virus evolution in vertically-transmitting and nontransmitting HIV-infected women, defining maternal immune responses that may protect against neonatal transmission of HIV. Finally, Dr. Permar has established studies of maternal cytomegalovirus-specific immune responses that may protect against symptomatic congenital cytomegalovirus and postnatal transmission in preterm infants.