Abby Mutic, PhD, MSN, CNM
Abby Mutic director of Southeast PEHSU, is a Certified Nurse Midwife and a current doctoral student in the school of nursing at Emory University. She has years of experience working with women and their families in clinic and hospital settings. Abby is currently studying environmental toxicants that disrupt normal gut bacteria and negatively influence maternal and fetal health. Endocrine disrupting chemicals are harmful in pregnancy, causing lifelong changes to a woman’s microbiome and neurological damage to the fetus. Abby focuses her work with the medical community in this area by investigating environmental health exposures to the fetus during pregnancy and the link to future poor health outcomes.
Dr. Robert Geller
Robert Geller currently serves as the Chief of the Emory Pediatrics Service at the Grady Health System/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding campus, as Medical Director of the Georgia Poison Center, and as Director of the Emory Southeast Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU). Dr. Geller was graduated in 1979 from Boston University School of Medicine. He then pursued his residency and Chief Residency in Pediatrics at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, followed by a fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Medical Toxicology, and the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology. He has been a member of the Southeast PEHSU since its formation in 2001. He is the author of more than 50 publications, and is one of the editors of the text, Safe and Healthy School Environments. He is the author or co-author of numerous community information sheets and has met with community members at many sites of children’s environmental health concern throughout the Southeastern United States
Claire D. Coles, Ph.D
Claire D. Coles, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, and Director of the Center for Maternal Substance Abuse and Child Development (MSACD) and Director of Mother2Baby. GA, a teratology information service that provides counseling and information to pregnant and breast feeding women, their partners and health care professionals about exposure to prescription and illicit drugs and well as a variety of environmental toxins. Dr. Coles’ research on the developmental and behavioral effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol and drugs and on the interaction of these effects with the postnatal environment began in 1980 and was among the first to describe many behavioral effects of prenatal alcohol exposure in infants, young children and adolescents as well as the effects on brain structure and function in young adults. Dr. Coles is principal investigator on a multi-site, long-term study of effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on adult health in middle age and a co-investigator on a prospective study of FASD in Ukraine. In 2019, Dr. Coles and her colleagues were awarded a HEALty Child Development Grant to initiate a study of effects of Prenatal Opiate exposure on the developing brain.
In 1995, Dr. Coles established the only multidisciplinary clinic in the Southeastern United States providing specialized services to individuals prenatally exposed to alcohol and other drugs, providing differential diagnosis and behavior evaluation, referral, psychotherapy and educational services. Dr. Coles and her colleagues have created two empirically validated, manualized treatment programs for alcohol and drug-affected children, MILE and GoFAR. Dr. Coles work has received national and international attention through the publication of numerous articles and books on these topics.
Melissa Halliday Gittinger, DO, FACMT
Melissa Halliday Gittinger, DO, FACMT is a medical toxicologist and emergency physician at Emory University School of Medicine and the Georgia Poison Center. In addition to serving on the southeast PEHSU, she serves as the assistant program director for the Emory and CDC combined fellowship in medical toxicology, practices emergency medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital, and directs the resident and student clerkship in medical toxicology at Emory University School of Medicine. She completed medical school at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, residency training at Indiana University in Indianapolis, Indiana and her fellowship in toxicology at Emory University. She is actively involved in the evaluation and management of patients with acute and chronic toxic exposures including environmental toxins.
Rebecca Pass Philipsborn, MD, MPA
Rebecca Pass Philipsborn, MD, MPA is a pediatrician at Emory University School of Medicine and Emory Global Health Institute. In addition to serving on the southeast PEHSU, she practices pediatrics at Hughes Spalding Primary Care Center, conducts research with the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) Network, and is Associate Director of Emory’s Global Health Track for pediatric residents. Her scholarly work focuses on better delineating causes of global child mortality in order to guide prevention efforts with CHAMPS and understanding the influence of climate change on child health and mortality—including disaster preparedness in pediatric healthcare delivery. She serves on the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change US Working Group and as the Georgia state climate advocate for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Before deciding to pursue a career in medicine, she worked in healthcare consulting and public health, including in maternal and child health and nutrition at the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme in West Africa. She completed medical school and residency training at Emory University, holds an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and an AB in English from Princeton University.
Leslie Isadore Rubin
PEHSU Faculty, Director of Break the Cycle Program
Nathan Mutic MS, MAT, Med
Nathan Mutic is the project manager for the SE PEHSU at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. He is responsible for managing daily operations of the SE PEHSU. He is a founding member of the Children’s Environmental Health Social Media Workgroup which has worked to create and enhance capacity for a national network of environmental health researchers and clinicians to reach audiences on social media. He has been integrally involved in the development of community outreach and research translation programs, including the “Know Better Live Better” social impact campaign that was developed to get culturally meaningful environmental health content to African American women in Metro Atlanta. Nathan is a former high school teacher and is passionate about empowering youth through education. He volunteers as a peer reviewer for two secondary education science journals.