Superfund Research Program
Project Leader: Joel N. Meyer
Grant Number: P42ES010356
Funding Period: 2000-2022
The Superfund Research Center's Training Core aims to provide educational services to all projects and cores and to recapitulate this center’s emphasis on the potential biological costs of environmental exposures and on contaminant remediation strategies to build a common scientific foundation for the center’s researchers, faculty, staff, and students. All members of the center are encouraged to participate in seminars and symposia, workshops and chalk talks. The core's central aim is to provide a training framework for promising undergraduate students as a way of fostering careers in environmental health research.
In conjunction with Duke's Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program, the Training Core conducted the center’s weekly seminar series. Thirty scientific lectures were delivered by Duke SRC's faculty, postdocs and students, as well as center alumni and outstanding scientists from other universities and government labs. Invited guest lecturers presented cutting-edge research on heavy metals such as mercury, hepatotoxicity, thyroid and estrogen mediated toxicity, nanoparticle toxicity, mitochondrial mechanisms of toxicity, pesticides, zebrafish models, coal mining, and ecotoxicity and epigenetics.
The fall 2011 day-long symposium, dedicated to showcasing the center's research, was titled Early life exposures and later life consequences: Mechanisms underlying vulnerability. Approximately 140 people from Duke and neighboring research institutions participated. Talks ranged from aquatic models through rodent research through human epidemiological research, all focusing on toxicant impacts on developmental processes.
The spring 2012 seminar series will begin on January 13, 2012 and will feature lectures on models such as C. elegans, Drosophilia, zebrafish, rodents, and humans. The spring 2012 symposium will be titled Causes and Consequences Connecting Human and Environmental Health.
The core has begun its proposed undergraduate research assistant program with support of our first three undergraduate students. These students are currently receiving skills training and research exposure in the labs of Edward Levin and Richard Di Giulio. The core anticipates hiring several more students in the spring 2012 semester. The center's seminar series was promoted to Duke undergraduate students via the LEAP Program (Leap into Education about Pharmacology). As a result of its own outreach to undergraduate students and through LEAP's efforts, the center has observed a larger undergraduate presence in both seminars and symposia this past year. Sustained weekly seminar attendance is now at approximately 50 people.