Lela R. McKnight-Eily, PhD
Health Scientist, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention Team
Lela R. McKnight-Eily, PhD is a health scientist and clinical psychologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities’ Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) Prevention Team. She leads the team’s programmatic/scientific efforts to increase alcohol screening and brief intervention (alcohol SBI) in primary care to prevent risky alcohol consumption and harms like FAS. Prior to joining the FAS team, she led several initiatives within the CDC alcohol program with a focus on policy and has served as a lead scientist/subject matter expert for mental health and sleep work in National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. She came to CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer in 2005, in the Office on Smoking and Health’s Global Tobacco Control Program / Epidemiology Branch.
Lela obtained an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in 1998 (child development and musical arts). She completed a PhD in Clinical and School Psychology at the University of Virginia in 2003, followed by a pediatric psychology internship at Miami Children’s Hospital (autism diagnosis/treatment, behavioral medicine, early childhood evaluation) and a pediatric psychology post-doctoral fellowship through Emory University School of Medicine.