Tyler Phan is an anthropologist who researches social structures and mechanisms of power in society and health. His work ranges from the role of the state in medical culture to methods of dissent.
Tyler received his Ph.D. at University College London’s (UCL) Department of Anthropology where his focus was on American Chinese Medicine. He began his academic path with B.A. in Religious Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and M.A. in Religions at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) where he concentrated on policy relating to the practice of Tibetan medical practice of Sowa Rigpa (Gso ba rig pa). His research has led him to work on co-authored book in an unorthodox approach to Buddhism with Professor Christopher Vitale (Pratt Institute) and finishing his monograph on American Chinese Medicine.
Outside of academia, Tyler is a fifth-generation traditional Vietnamese medicine practitioner, tracing back to Viet Nam’s former capital of Huế. He began working at various traditional hospitals in Viet Nam at the age of eighteen. Later, he opened the first community acupuncture clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he provided affordable acupuncture to the city and it continues today. The clinic offers non-opioid alternative to treating chronic pain.
He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Goldman Institute for Social Research, a Pittsburgh-based research institute bridging the gap between academic, policy, and the general public, chairing the institute’s Critical Medical Studies and Power Studies. As of 2018, he joined University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Anthropology and Asian Studies Center as a research associate and lecturer.