Ci3 announces new executive director

Crystal TylerThe University of Chicago’s Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation (Ci3) in Sexual and Reproductive Health has named Crystal Pirtle Tyler, PhD, as its new Executive Director. At Ci3, she will work alongside Melissa Gilliam, MD, MPH, Ci3’s Founder and Faculty Director, in implementing Ci3’s vision and mission. She succeeds the former Executive Director, Brandon Hill, PhD, who is now President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains.

Tyler brings extensive experience in adolescent sexual and reproductive health and research to Ci3. In her most recent role, she served as Senior Research Leader at Truveen Health Analytics, an IBM Company, within their Center for Maternal and Child Health Research. She focused on maternal and child health and health equity, and collaborated with Medicaid agencies in implementing innovative care delivery models.

In addition to her deep understanding of public health research, Tyler will be instrumental in working with the Center’s leadership to further develop global and domestic opportunities and champion the innovative, youth-centered research work to academic faculty partners, students and peer organizations.

“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,” Tyler said.

“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 this interdisciplinary team behind this new wave of research.”

As a national expert on sexual and reproductive health, Tyler began her career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where she served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in the Division of Reproductive Health on the Women’s Health and Fertility team. She then became a Senior Service Fellow focusing on evaluation and epidemiology within the CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health on the Adolescent Reproductive Health Team. There, she worked as a subject matter expert on adolescent sexual and reproductive health, teenage pregnancy prevention, and sexually transmitted infection prevention. She conducted epidemiologic research and made public health recommendations to national organizations and health care providers.

Tyler then moved on to become the Director of the Michigan Public Health Institute’s Center for Child and Family Health, where she had programmatic, administrative, and financial responsibility for a large portfolio of technical assistance, implementation, research, and evaluation projects to reduce health disparities and improve the health of women, children and families.

"I am delighted to have Dr. Tyler join Ci3 as our new Executive Director," said Gilliam, who is also the Ellen H. Block Professor of Health Justice at UChicago. “She has a deep understanding of research, and addressing critical issues in the lives of young people. She is a born leader with a deep commitment to health equity. These are valuable assets to our Center and will help solidify our vision in which all youth emerge into adulthood with agency over their bodies and futures.”

Tyler received her PhD 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 College. 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.


Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation (Ci3) in Sexual and Reproductive Health

Established in 2012, Ci3 is a University of Chicago research center that addresses the social and structural determinants of adolescent sexual and reproductive health with innovative labs that create games, digital narratives, and design interventions with and for youth.

Learn more about Ci3