The Duke University Program in Environmental Health (UPEH) is a pre-doctoral training program that
rigorously prepares students for the complexity of research careers in environmental health. The UPEH is an
interdepartmental, transdisciplinary program in which PhD degrees are awarded jointly by a Department within
Duke University and the UPEH. Fellows receive high-quality training including: (1) classroom instruction for
content mastery in core topical areas (Environmental Health, Toxicology, Exposure Science, Epidemiology,
etc), and quantitative methods used in cutting-edge research (Biostatistics, Exposure Science Modelling, Big
Data Analytics, etc); (2) seminars and symposia that include literature analysis and presentation of primary
research; (3) instruction in Responsible Conduct of Research; (4) laboratory research; and (5) professional
development, including communication and matrix management of scientific teams.
Research strengths include: (1) human environmental health with specific strengths in cardiopulmonary health
and disease, developmental and children’s health, neurological health, cancer and the environment, and global
health; (2) Exposure science with a focus on endocrine disrupters, pharmaceuticals, flame retardants, other
organic pollutants including hydrocarbons, nanomaterials and inorganic pollutants including metals and
metalloids, and (3) Environmental toxicology, focused on molecular mechanisms of action that affect health.
UPEH programming is supported by the outstanding research environment of Duke's Medical Center, the
Nicholas School of the Environment, the Pratt School of Engineering, the Global Health Institute, and Trinity
College of Arts and Sciences, and provides a uniquely integrated educational environment with access to
shared facilities, support cores, and resources to support the fellows training in cutting-edge research.
Core Duke faculty members in the UPEH serve as primary advisors for pre-doctoral students. The Program is
further enriched by adjunct faculty and external advisors from our neighboring Research Triangle Park-based
institutions such as the NIEHS, US EPA, and RTI, in addition to our sister 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. Our recruiting and admissions efforts have consistently provided us with outstanding trainees who
are eager to embark upon careers in environmental health and related sub-disciplines, with a particular
emphasis on recruiting and retaining underrepresented minorities. The success of our students post-
graduation is a reflection of the quality of the students, faculty, and broader environment of the UPEH.