The Ruth C. and Raymond G. Perelman Professorship of Internal Medicine

Raymond G. Perelman

Ruth C. and Raymond G. Perelman created this Professorship in 2004 as part of their unparalleled commitment to excellence in health care both in the region and the nation. The Professorship was the first devoted to an active, full-time clinician. 

In 2011, the Perelmans made a historic gift to permanently endow Penn’s medical school, which was renamed the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The endowment followed the couple’s earlier naming gift for the Ruth and Raymond Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, Penn Medicine’s state-of-the-art outpatient center. Through their philanthropy, the Perelmans became crucial partners in making Penn Medicine one of the most influential and innovative academic medical centers in the U.S.

Raymond G. Perelman (1917–2019) was the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of RGP Holdings, a private holding company comprising an array of manufacturing, mining, and financial interests. He and Ruth Caplan Perelman (1921-2011) were married for 70 years. The Perelmans were counted among Philadelphia’s most prominent and generous philanthropists. They made pathbreaking gifts to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and its adjacent Perelman Building, the Kimmel Center and Perelman Theater, the Perelman Jewish Day School, and many other Jewish cultural and welfare organizations. Both the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Drexel University have honored Ray’s extraordinary support by naming areas of their campuses in his honor. 

At Penn, Mr. Perelman became a powerful advocate for all of Penn Medicine’s missions. In his later years, he could often be seen on campus or at medical school events such as graduation and the celebration of the Perelman School of Medicine’s 250th year. He particularly enjoyed meeting Penn’s incoming medical students.

A Wharton alumnus and recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Penn, he served as a Penn Medicine Trustee from 2002 to 2012. In 2011, he was awarded Penn’s Medal for Distinguished Achievement, one of the University’s highest honors, to recognize “his untiring efforts and immeasurable contributions to the health and well-being, education and cultural opportunities in Philadelphia and beyond.”


Carmen Guerra photoCurrent Chairholder 

Carmen E. Guerra, MD, MSCE, FACP

Carmen E. Guerra, MD, MSCE, FACP is the Ruth C. and Raymond G. Perelman Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Guerra is a general internist and cancer equity researcher. She is also the Vice Chair of Diversity and Inclusion for the Department of Medicine and the Associate Director of Diversity and Outreach for the Abramson Cancer Center.   

Dr. Guerra’s research has focused on developing and evaluating interventions to increase the participation of underserved populations in cancer screenings and cancer clinical trials. She developed and evaluated several cancer screening patient navigation programs that have engaged thousands of underserved minority residents of Philadelphia in cancer screenings.  

Dr. Guerra has also established community outreach and engagement programs to increase participation of Black patients in cancer clinical trials, including a cancer clinical trials ambassador program and the Lazarex Improving Patient Access to Cancer Clinical Trials (IMPACT) program, a financial reimbursement program for patients participating in cancer treatment trials.   

Dr. Guerra co-chaired two of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Association of Community Cancer Center (ACCC) workgroups that developed an unconscious bias training specifically for cancer research teams: “Just Ask,” which is an equity, diversity and inclusion site self-assessment for cancer research teams to identify best practices; and the ASCO-ACCC joint research statement Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Cancer Clinical Trials. She is also a member of the American Cancer Society (ACS) National Board of Directors and a member of the ACS Clinical Guidelines Development group. Dr. Guerra is an author of the ACS colorectal, cervical and HPV clinical practice guidelines, which widely influence clinical practice. 

Previous Chairholders

  • Gary W. Crooks, MD 2005–2016