The Duke University Program in Environmental Health (UPEH) is a proposed predoctoral training program which will prepare students for research careers in environmental health. The UPEH is an interdepartmental, multidisciplinary program in which Ph.D. degrees are awarded jointly by the Department and the Program. Training includes 1) classroom instruction in core areas (Essentials of Pharmacology, Environmental Toxicology or Mammalian Toxicology, Environmental Health), and quantitative approaches appropriate for student research including Statistics, Focused Topics in Toxicology and Environmental Health; 2) Seminars and symposia that include literature analysis and presentation of primary research; 3) Introductory and ongoing instruction in Responsible Conduct of Research; 4) Laboratory research. Research strengths in environmental health at Duke University include: 1) Human environmental health and disease with specific strengths in cardiopulmonary health and disease, development and children's health, neurological health and disease, cancer and the environment, and global health; 2) Exposure science with a focus on endocrine disrupters, pharmaceuticals, hydrocarbons and flame retardants, nanomaterial's and inorganic pollutants including trace metals and metalloids, and 3) Environmental toxicology, focused on elucidating molecular mechanisms of action for toxins and other environmental influences on human health. The outstanding research environment supported by Duke's Medical Center, the Nicholas School of the Environment, Pratt School of Engineering, and Trinity College of Arts and Sciences provides the core educational environment with laboratories and shared facilities supplying training in leading-edge approaches to the students' research. Core Duke faculty members in the UPEH serve as primary advisors for pre-doctoral students. The Program is further enriched by adjunct faculty from the Research Triangle Park-based institutions such as NIEHS, US EPA, and Hamner Institute for Health Research, and other triangle universities (North Carolina Central University, NC State University, and UNC Chapel Hill). These faculty members provide seminars, lectures, serve on student committees, and provide technical expertise, research facilities and career guidance. The success of the UPEH will depend on the investigators ability to attract excellent students into the Program. The recruiting and admissions efforts with the UPEH's predecessor (Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program) have consistently provided them with outstanding trainees who are eager to embark upon careers in environmental health and related sub-disciplines. This recruiting effort includes a variety of active strategies to recruit underrepresented minorities.

Public Health Relevance

Duke's UPEH will provide pre-doctoral fellows with classroom and laboratory training which will prepare them for leadership roles in research in environmental health. Environmental factors contribute to the etiology of human disease including asthma, cancer and reproductive disorders. Trainees in this program will contribute to our understanding of the linkages among environmental exposures to chemicals and other stressors, mechanisms underlying cellular responses, and human health outcomes.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Environmental Health Sciences Review Committee (EHS)
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Shreffler, Carol A
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Duke University
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