David H. Perlmutter, MD, is the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor, Executive Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. He is an international leader in academic medicine and known for his research on alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (ATD), a genetic disorder in which accumulation of misfolded proteins can lead to severe liver damage. He is now working with a team of collaborators on discovery and development of drugs which can alleviate this liver disease by stimulating a fundamental cellular quality control mechanism called autophagy. These drugs have profound potential to slow age-dependent degenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. Perlmutter has been on the faculties of Harvard Medical School, University of Pittsburgh and Washington University. Previously, he was distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at University of Pittsburgh. He has authored more than 200 scientific publications and holds nine U.S. patents or patent applications and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.