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Sommer Scholars

Özge Tunçalp, MD, PhD, MPH

  • Country of Origin: Turkey
  • PhD '12, Population, Family and Reproductive Health

Wherever Özge Tunçalp turns—from her native Turkey to urban Maryland—she sees a fundamental humanity, and a near-limitless opportunity for improving the human condition. The Turkish-trained physician has a professional focus on women’s reproductive health, and she's followed that interest around the world, volunteering to set up clinics in remote villages in Uganda, researching maternal mortality in Bangladesh and teaching contraception in Baltimore middle schools as a Planned Parenthood speaker. “I love interacting with people,” she says. “I am fascinated by how unique and yet similar we are to one another—transcending race, gender, nationality and religion. Tobe able to connect with people is what nurtures me as a human being.”

As an MPH student at the Bloomberg School in 2006, Tunçalp worked as a research assistant for Population, Family and Reproductive Health associate professor Michael Koenig. After winning the MPH Field Experience Fund Award, she traveled to Bangladesh for a two-week analysis of maternal mortality interventions. “I view women's reproductive health as a continuous spectrum, including maternal mortality, family planning, HIV and abortion,” she says. “None can truly be realized without the other.”

Current Position

Scientist, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization