Bob and Caryle Perlman Fellow - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Bob and Caryle Perlman Fellow

For more information about this program please contact:

Karol Dean
Program Director, Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellowship

Christina Esparza-Cassidy
Schweitzer Fellows Program Coordinator

Shannon Sweetnam
Director of Development and Communications

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Bob and Caryle Perlman Fellow

  • Overview


The Bob and Caryle Perlman Fellowship was established to provide mentorship and support for those looking to make a difference in underserved Chicago communities. Wishing they’d had access to a program like the Schweitzer Fellowship early on in their own careers, Bob and Caryle feel it’s important to give back now to the next generation of service-minded health and human service professionals. According to the Perlmans, Schweitzer Fellows bring hope and a sense of agency to people who would otherwise feel helpless. In recent years, they have been cheered by the Fellows’ enthusiasm, energy, and commitment to service, and believe that these Fellows and their peers are our hope for the future.

Bob and Caryle met as undergraduates at the University of Chicago, where Bob also earned his M.D. and his Ph.D. in biochemistry before moving to New York. Bob accepted a residency in pediatrics at Bellevue Hospital because it was a busy city hospital that provided medical care to underserved populations in New York City. Caryle earned her master’s degree in social work from the Columbia University School of Social Work before choosing field work placements serving disadvantaged and marginalized populations. Two years later, during the Vietnam War, Bob fulfilled his military obligations as a commissioned officer in the Public Health Service, conducting research at the National Institutes of Health. At the same time, Caryle worked for the National Institute of Mental Health in a research and demonstration project to develop community mental health centers.

After these experiences, their professional careers went along more traditional lines. Bob continued in the academic world, teaching and conducting biomedical research, and has been especially interested in the new field of evolutionary medicine, which helps us understand the ways in which our evolutionary heritage has left us vulnerable to disease. Caryle is a supervising and training analyst at the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute and has been working to bring psychoanalytic education and practice to China.

2023-24 Bob and Caryle Perlman Fellow

Angela Victoria Olivar, University of Illinois Chicago, Dentistry

Angela proposes to raise awareness about the importance of oral healthcare, providing educational sessions and to address factors that limit Latino communities in seeking continuous oral healthcare services.