The Ci3 team is dedicated to helping faculty develop cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and programming to improve sexual and reproductive health globally.


Founder and Director

Dr. Melissa Gilliam is Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pediatrics, Chief of the Section of Family Planning & Contraceptive Research, and Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the Biological Sciences Division, as well as Director of Ci3 at the University of Chicago. 

Dr. Gilliam’s research builds on her clinical experience as a pediatric and adolescent gynecologist, using qualitative and quantitative methods to understand and find innovative approaches to the issues that affect the health and well-being of young women. Her community-based research seeks to identify adolescent attitudes towards sexual activity, pregnancy and contraception.

Recognizing that the complex interplay of systems that affect sexual and reproductive health, Dr. Gilliam has long incorporated partners from many disciplines in her research. She created the Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3) at the University of Chicago to facilitate collaborative research and programming, and to leverage the university’s resources to make significant improvements in the sexual and reproductive health of vulnerable communities.


Executive Director

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Dr. Brandon J Hill is the Executive Director of Ci3. Dr. Hill joined Ci3 in 2013. Previously, he worked at Indiana University's Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. Dr. Hill has concentrated on interdisciplinary research, with a special focus on HIV/STI prevention interventions, LGBT health, and health disparities. His current projects include studies examining mental and physical health disparities among racial and sexual minorities, particularly young transgender women of color and young men who have sex with men.


Policy Coordinator

Lee Hasselbacher is the Policy Coordinator for the Section of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research and Ci3 at the University of Chicago. Her work has focused on women's rights, reproductive justice and equitable access to affordable health care services. At UChicago, Lee has researched and published on topics such as abortion access in Illinois, contraceptive coverage and ACA implementation, and federal sex education policy. She is currently exploring how policy can better support youth development initiatives aimed at improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Lee holds a JD from Northwestern University School of Law.


Research Specialist


Dr. Luciana (Lucy) Hebert is a Research Specialist 3 with Ci3 and the Section of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research. Her work focuses on sexual and reproductive health among adolescents and young adults. She has conducted research on family planning, gender, partner dynamics, STI/HIV risk perceptions and sexual and reproductive attitudes and behaviors among youth in domestic and international urban contexts. Lucy holds a PhD in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health.


Research Specialist


Erin Jaworski is a Research Specialist 2 with Ci3 and our Game Changer Chicago Design Lab. She received her MPH in Community Health Promotion at the University of Minnesota. Erin has worked in the adolescent and sexual and reproductive health fields in a variety of settings, from university research to state and local government. At Ci3 and GCC, she works closely with the game design team to develop and evaluate innovative game-based youth interventions.


Research Specialist


Rayna N. Brown is a Research Specialist 1 with Ci3. A native Chicagoan, Rayna has done reproductive justice work with adolescents and communities of color for over 10 years. She has also worked extensively in the HIV/AIDS field, primarily with LGBTQ communities of color. Rayna's resarch interests include health disparities, health equity, and community-based activism and advocacy. She holds a BS in Biology from Spelman College, an MA in Women and Gender Studies from Roosevelt University, and is currently completing her MPH in Community Health Sciences-Maternal and Child Health from UIC's School of Public Health.


Center Specialist


Jessica Preleski is Ci3's Center Specialist. She holds an MPH from DePaul University, where her thesis focused on adolescent health in students of the Chicago Public Schools. While an intern with EverThrive Illinois (formerly the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition), Jessica worked on hunger relief and nutrition initiatives. She has experience connecting national common core curriculum to health initiatives, to be used in schools throughout Chicago.

Meet our Game Changer Chicago Design Lab team.