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Podcasts: Global Environmental Health Chat

Global Environmental Health


This podcast series brings to you the knowledge and experiences of people working to understand and combat environmental health problems that reach beyond national boundaries and contribute to the global burden of disease.

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A New Chapter in NIEHS-WHO Collaboration (3-part series)

With the NIEHS’s recent designation as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Environmental Health Sciences, the Institute and WHO are celebrating a renewed partnership and looking forward to working together to address pressing global environmental health challenges. In this 3-part series, leaders at the NIEHS and WHO discuss their vision for a fruitful collaboration.

Part 1: Dr. Linda Birnbaum, NIEHS

Dr. Linda Birnbaum

Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., is director of the National Institute of Environmental Health
Sciences of the National Institutes of Health, and the National Toxicology Program. As NIEHS and NTP director, Birnbaum oversees a budget of $730 million that funds biomedical research to discover how the environment influences human health and disease. The Institute also supports training, education, technology transfer, and community outreach. NIEHS currently funds more than 1,000 research grants. A board certified toxicologist, Dr. Birnbaum has served as a federal scientist for nearly 34 years. Prior to her appointment as NIEHS and NTP director in 2009, she spent 19 years at the Environmental Protection Agency, where she directed the largest division focusing on environmental health research. She is the author of more than 600 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and reports.


Part 2: Dr. María Neíra, WHO

Dr. María Neira

María P. Neíra is a Spanish national who holds a degree in Medicine and Surgery (University of Oviedo, Spain) and a Master’s degree in Public Health from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie. Dr. Neíra is the Director of the Department of Public Health and Environment at the World Health Organization (WHO). Previously, she was President of the Spanish Food Safety Agency and Vice Minister of Health and Consumer Affairs in Spain. Before that, she was Director of the Department of Control, Prevention and Eradication at WHO. Before joining WHO, Dr. Neíra worked as Public Health Adviser in the Ministry of Health in Mozambique and earlier, in Kigali, Rwanda, she was a UN Public Health Advisor/Physician on assignment from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Among other distinctions, Dr Neíra has been awarded the Médaille de l'Ordre national du Mérite by the Government of France.


Part 3: Dr. Luiz Augusto Galvão, PAHO

Dr. Luiz Augusto Galvão

Luiz Augusto Galvão, a Brazilian national, received his medical degree at the Faculdade de Medicina do ABC. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health with specialization in environmental epidemiology. Dr. Galvão is Chief of the Special Project on Sustainable Development and Health Equity at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization’s regional office for the Americas. He has been involved with the work of PAHO since 1984. Dr. Galvão's professional career includes extensive teaching experience and a vast number of technical publications. He was president of the Brazilian Society of Toxicology and is an active member of several professional associations.


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Environmental Health and Sustainable Development, with Sir Andrew Haines

As the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approach their 2015 deadline, leaders are considering ways to build upon and expand the successes of the MDGs after 2015. In this podcast, Sir Andrew Haines discusses how the new set of strategies, goals, and indicators can simultaneously improve health and increase sustainability.

Sir Andy Haines

Featured Expert

Sir Andrew Haines, MBBS, MD is Professor of Public Health and Primary Care at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).  He previously served as Director (originally Dean) of LSHTM for nearly 10 years. An epidemiologist and practitioner of family medicine, Sir Haines has worked internationally in Nepal, Jamaica, Canada, and the United States and been a member of a number of major international and national committees. He is currently a member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, an interdisciplinary group that provides technical advice on the post-2015 development agenda. He has also been a member of the WHO Advisory Committee on Health Research and of Working Group 2 of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for the second and third assessment reports. He is currently review editor of the health chapter of the IPCC’s fifth assessment report.


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Climate Change and Health Inequalities, with Dr. Gueladio Cisse

Public health infrastructure is extremely fragile in many areas of Africa. Climate change is expected to increase the threat of infectious diseases in the region, and more extreme weather could bring disasters like drought and floods. Dr. Gueladio Cisse explains how these aspects of climate change threaten to further exacerbate health inequalities in Africa.

Featured Expert

Dr. Gueladio Cisse

Dr. Gueladio Cisse is Professor Sanitary Engineering & Environmental Epidemiology and the Project Leader of the Ecosystem Health Sciences Unit at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. With a passion for water and sanitation challenges in Africa, he directs a project focused on water, health, and climate change in four river-adjacent West African cities. Dr. Cisse holds a Ph.D. in Sanitary Engineering and a M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.


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Building India’s Public Health Capacity, with Dr. Rao Aiyagari

India, the world's second-most populous country, faces a host of public health challenges from infectious diseases to air pollution. Climate change is expected to exacerbate many of these health issues in the coming years. In this episode, we discuss what can be done to build the country's public health capacity and work toward a healthier future.

Featured Expert

GEH Podcast - Dr. Rao Aiyagari

Dr. Rao Aiyagari is a Senior Advisor for Research and Scientific Operations at the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI). He is a Mechanical Engineer, an expert in Science Policy Studies and a specialist in the areas of Operations Research, Systems Analysis and Industrial Engineering Problems. At PHFI, Dr. Aiyagari is involved with research policy guidelines for supporting the PHFI research agenda, capacity building and training efforts, and academic management. Dr. Aiyagari has served as Scientific Adviser to the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India for a number of years and has made outstanding contributions towards the promotion of research and development in science and engineering. He is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering.


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Feeding the World in a Changing Climate, with Dr. Pamela Anderson

Climate change could make it harder for farmers to meet the world’s growing food demands. In this episode, we look at the agricultural impacts of climate change and learn what scientists are doing to prepare crops for a future with more heat, drought, and extreme weather.

Featured Expert

Geh Podcast Dr. Pamela Anderson

Dr. Pamela Anderson is Director General of the International Potato Center (CIP) in Lima, Peru. CIP is one of 15 international agricultural research centers in the CGIAR Consortium, a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future. A leading expert on emerging plant diseases, Dr. Anderson has also conducted research in agricultural entomology and plant virus epidemiology related to food security and income generation for resource-poor populations. Dr. Anderson has worked in Latin America for 30 years and spent two decades working within national agricultural research systems before joining CGIAR.


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