Howard Kushner, PhD
Robertson Distinguished Professor of Science and Society
This coffee talk focused on the case of Dr. Howard Frumkin, an environmental and occupational health expert at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health. Several years ago, Edward Carder, was suffering from aches and pains, skins lesions, and rashes. Carder approached Frumkin, whose tests indicated that Carder's symptoms were a response to a pesticide that contained Durban, a chemical that was recently restricted by the EPA. Frumkin agreed to testify on Carder's behalf in a suit against Orkin Exterminating Co. The Rollins family, a major donor to the Rollins School of Public Health, owns Orkin. Incidentally, Frumkin was approached by a superior who discouraged him from testifying, and ordered him not to evaluate any more patients with claims against Orkin.
The direction of the coffee talk then turned to Tourette Syndrome. Patients with Tourette Syndrome are characterized by tics, involuntary, rapid movements or vocalizations. A medical historian, Dr. Kushner has done research on Tourette Syndrome, reconciling clinical research of the last two centuries with modern molecular medicine. His book A Cursing Brain? A Medical History of Tourette Syndrome traces the history of the syndrome in detail.