Biographies - Toxic Oil

Leslie Swygert, MD, MPH
Photograph of We Were There presenter, Leslie Swygert, MD, MPH,

Dr. Swygert received a medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine in 1984. After internal medicine training at the University of California, San Francisco, she returned to Emory University School of Public Health for an MPH and joined the Epidemic Intelligence Service in 1988. As an EIS Officer with CDC’s Division of Environmental Health and Health Effects, she was responsible for establishing national surveillance of eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome and for the coordinating the national investigation of this newly identified disorder. She was subsequently assigned to the Hawaii Department of Health to complete her CDC Preventive Medicine Residency and is board certified in General Preventive Medicine and Public Health. During a hiatus from CDC, she worked as a medical epidemiology consultant to the Hawaii Department of Health and served as an expert witness in L-tryptophan product liability litigation. She returned to CDC’s Epidemiology Program Office in 1995, first to coordinate training of EIS Officers and later as a medical epidemiologist with the Division of International Health. Since leaving CDC in 1999, she has been an epidemiology consultant in analysis and teaching for state health departments, educational institutions and private organizations.

Andrew Geller, MD, CDR US PHS
Photograph of We Were There presenter, Andrew Geller MD, CDR US PHS

Dr. Geller received a BS from Cornell University and MD from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. After completing residency training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Emory University, served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer in CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP) and continues to serve as a Medical Officer in DHQP’s Medication Safety Program, leading the Medical Product Safety workgroup for Healthy People 2030. His research interests include medication safety, chronic disease management, and the intersection of medical care and public health practice.  Currently, he is a Commander in the US Public Health Service; and practices part-time as a Board-certified PM&R physician at the Emory Rehabilitation Hospital.

Henry Falk, MD, MPH
Photograph of We Were There presenter, Henry Falk, MD, MPH

Dr. Falk served in multiple capacities at CDC including Assistant Administrator, ATSDR, Director, National Center for Environmental Health, member of the Executive Leadership Board and Director, Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention. He retired from the US Public Health Service Commission Corps after 30 years of service as Real Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General, and from the CDC in 2010. He continues there is a part-time consultant to the Deputy Director on global aspects of non-communicable diseases, injury and environmental health. He is also part time at Emory Rollins School of Public Health as an Adjunct Professor of environmental health.

At CDC, he helped start the environmental health, injury, disaster, epidemiology lead poisoning prevention, asthma, radiation studies, hazardous waste investigations, and a variety of other programs. He began his career at CDC as an EIS officer. He has approximately 150 publications and is a recipient of several awards including the CDC Lifetime Science Achievement Award and the Distinguished Service Award of the US Public Health Service and the William C. Watson Metal of Excellence at CDC.

Page last reviewed: March 20, 2020
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