University of Minnesota

Herman Alfred Tyroler, MD

1924 — 2007

Al Tyroler was a pioneer of CVD epidemiology with a focus on studies of social, ethnic, and gender differences in CVD risk. He was educated at Ohio University and received his MD from NYU School of Medicine in 1947.

Tyroler and his University of North Carolina colleagues responded to the ideas of regional medical practitioners, Ed Boyle and Curtis Hames, who in the 1950s proposed studies in natural populations of men and women, black and white in the rural South, the first major CVD epidemiological cohort efforts with sizable numbers of African Americans. Their pioneering work established the social and biological characteristics associated with excess risk in African Americans.

Tyroler’s career is also characterized by a strong supportive presence in the more significant research enterprises and central CVD epidemiological studies historically: Evans County and Charleston, LRC Prevalence, Atherosclerosis Research in Communities (ARIC), and Hypertension Detection and Follow-up Program (HDFP). Where he emerges as principal is in seminal reviews on major issues of CVD risk, such as the relation of observational to trial results, between socioeconomic and biological risk factors, and on social, family, neighborhood, and personality components of risk, all dating from his earliest work with Sydney Kark and John Cassel.

Al Tyroler was a pioneer who never quit; he remained productive forever at Chapel Hill, in an effective research and teaching career combined with notable personal humility and social caring. (HB)


Al Tyroler, (2005) Epidemiological Perspectives & Innovations. 2005, 2:2. [online journal] Accessed May 30, 2006.

University of North Carolina, School of Public Heath, Profiles. Accessed May30, 2006.

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