Mariah Arnold (Richard Di Giulio, PhD): I have a B.A. in Biology from New College of Florida, where I graduated in 2008. I am studying the effects of mountaintop removal/valley fill coal mining effluent on wild fish populations with a particular focus on selenium contamination in the Mud River, West Virginia. We determine both selenium tissue distribution using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and speciation using x-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) analysis. We characterize both short-term selenium accumulation using tissue burdens as well as long-term selenium exposure using otolith concentrations as determined by laser ablation ICP-MS. I use a simulated food chain consisting of wild-caught biofilms from the Mud River and laboratory-reared fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) in an effort to understand both trophic and maternal transfer of selenium. Selenium induced deformities in fish have been previously demonstrated, although the mechanism for these deformities is not well understood. I am investigating the possibility that selenium induces oxidative stress in fish embryos using genetic tools and the zebrafish (Danio rerio). This work is a part of a larger collaboration at Duke University that strives to understand the human and ecosystem impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining in West Virginia.
Andrew Arrant (Cynthia Kuhn, PhD): Focuses on the serotonergic contribution to adolescent risk taking.
Audrey Bone (Richard Di Giulio, PhD): Studies the effects of TiO2 NPs on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) mixture toxicity to fish under environmentally relevant conditions.
Jessica Brandt- First year ITEHP student
Daniel Brown (Richard Di Giulio, PhD): Studies how early-life exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) affects the development of fish.
Sonja Brun (Robert Wechsler-Reya, PhD): Studies the Role of Survivin in Medulloblastoma Tumorigenesis
Elizabeth Chan (Michael S. Krangle, PhD)
Laurel Coons (Kenneth Korach, MD; Donald McDonnell, PhD): Focused on defining the molecular & cellular mechanisms underlying the tissue-selective agonist/antagonist activities of selective estrogen receptor modulators.
Xioaxing (Chelsea) Cui (First year ITEHP student): I am interested in airborne particles (particularly ultrafine particles and nano particles) in terms of both exposure assessment and health effect evaluation. I am also passionate about teaching and presenting my research to people who care about environmental pollution and its impact on human populations. I have a Master of Science in Public Health degree in Occupational and Environmental Hygiene from Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD) and a Bachelor of Medicine in Preventive Medicine from Peking University (Beijing, China). Training from both institutions helped me greatly in understanding the link between environmental exposure and subsequent health effects. Upon graduation from the PhD program, I hope to continue my research on environmental hazards at an academic institution and teach related courses to students who share my interest in environmental sciences.
Drew Day – (Jim Zhang, PhD)
Laura Dishaw (Heather Stapleton, PhD): Focused on the evaluation of developmental toxicity and metabolism of the flame retardant, Tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) Phosphate (TDCPP).
Kyle Erwin (Margaret Kirby, PhD)
Mingliang Fang (Heather Stapleton, PhD): Research involves the qualification and quantification of novel organic pollutants and metabolism of those compounds in vitro and in vivo.
Claudia Gonzalez (Joel Meyer, PhD): Studies the effects of environmental toxicants like rotenone, paraquat, and others on mitochondrial dysfunction and mitochondrial DNA damage and how it is related to neurodegenerative disorders, using the model organism C. elegans.
Emileigh Greuber (Ann Marie Pendergast, PhD) Researches the role of the Abl Tyrosine kinases in macrophage function
Meng He (Vann Bennett, MD, PhD): Researches mechanisms for Ankyrin-G targeting.
Jordan Kozal- First year ITEHP student
Christopher Leonetti (Heather Stapleton, PhD): Second year ITEHP/Nicholas School of the Environment
Brandon Logeman (Dennis Thiele, PhD): Research is focused on exploring the roles of copper in eukaryotic cells.
Anthony Luz (Joel Meyer, PhD): I graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Cornell University in 2011. Before coming to Duke I spent a year working at the Hudson River Superfund Site, where I helped monitor PCB levels in areas of the river before and after dredging. I am now a second year doctoral student in Joel Meyer’s lab, and am interested in how environmental exposures to various toxicants can cause mitochondrial DNA damage. More specifically, I am interested in how mitochondrial DNA damage can effect metabolism or induce epigenetic changes in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans.
Laura Macaulay (Heather Stapleton, PhD): Laura holds a B.A. from Wofford College in Chemistry. She studies the effects of brominated flame retardants and their metabolites on development and thyroid regulation using zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model organism. Her dissertation title is: “Thyroid Hormone Dysregulation from Flame Retardant Exposure in Early and Juvenile Life Stages of the Zebrafish”.
Anthony Oliveri (Edward Levin, PhD) – Second year ITEHP / Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
Mamle Quarmyne (John Chute, MD): Title of Research Project is ”Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase Receptor Sigma (PTPσ) Regulates Hematopoietic Stem Cell Fate.”
Simon Roberts (Heather Stapleton, PhD): Studies in vitro metabolism of brominated flame retardants.
John Rooney (Joel Meyer, PhD): Investigates metabolic and behavioral effects caused by mitochondrial DNA damage in the C. elegans model.
Katherine Stencel (Lee Ferguson, PhD): Research focuses on the identification of endocrine disrupting compounds in complex mixtures through the use of receptor-affinity extraction and high-resolution mass spectrometry.
Wei Chou Tseng (Vann Bennett, MD, PhD): Currently studying the role of alternative splicing in ankyrin-G and characterizing the isoform specificity of ankyrin-G protein.
Christopher Ward (Dana Hunt, PhD): Responses of coastal bacterioplankton to environmental perturbation by natural and anthropogenic events
Xinyu Yang (Joel Meyer, PhD): Mechanisms of silver nanoparticle toxicity in laboratory suspension and complex environmental media in Caenorhabditis elegans
Shugun Yang (Christopher Counter, PhD):
Lauren Wyatt (Bill Pan, PhD)
Edward Zhu (Rebecca Yang, PhD): Understanding the circuit basis of UV aversion during Drosophila egg-laying site selection