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Crystal Pirtle Tyler, Ph.D., heads Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation

October 2018

Spelman Alumna Crystal Pirtle TylerCrystal Pirtle Tyler, Ph.D., C'2004, has been appointed executive director for the University of Chicago’s Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3), a pioneering research center at the forefront of youth-centered initiatives in sexual and reproductive health.

Always interested in the health field, Dr. Tyler worked to improve health outcomes for the most vulnerable groups during her undergraduate tenure at Spelman. As a first-year student, she was exposed to how institutionalized and structural racism can lead to disparities in maternal and child health outcomes. During her second year, she pursued a summer internship program through Project IMHOTEP, where she was matched with a mentor at the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) who shaped her interest in the public health field. That opportunity opened the door for Dr. Tyler to pursue formal training in epidemiology and obtain a full-time position in the Division of Reproductive Health at the CDC.
Since then, Dr. Tyler has worked as a subject matter expert on adolescent sexual and reproductive health, teenage pregnancy prevention, and sexually transmitted infection prevention, leading programmatic and research efforts at Michigan Public Health Institute’s Center for Child and Family Health and most recently at Truveen Health Analytics, an IBM Company.
“As an advocate for child health and health equity, it’s important to collaborate with young people on ways to improve their sexual and reproductive health while addressing the social inequities that exist among marginalized communities in the U.S. and globally.” said Dr. Tyler.

“Ci3 is doing the groundwork and uncovering opportunities for policy and systemic change while empowering young people to advocate for themselves through their suite of games, storytelling and human-centered design techniques. I’m excited to lead the interdisciplinary team behind this new wave of research.”
Dr. Tyler received her Ph.D. in perinatal epidemiology in 2009 from Michigan State University, an MPH in epidemiology from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in comparative women's studies from Spelman. She has published and presented extensively on adolescent health, health equity, STIs/HIV, and family planning, including publications in the Journal of Women’s Health, the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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