About our Program

Duke University’s Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program (ITEHP) is a predoctoral training program which prepares students for research careers in environmental health and toxicology. Interdepartmental and multidisciplinary, PhD degrees are awarded jointly by the Department and the Program.

Our direct-admit program is funded through a federal NIEHS T32 training grant entitled Duke University Program in Environmental Health & Toxicology (UPEH).  Additionally, a certificate option is available to graduate students who are admitted to and affiliated with other participating departments and who wish to pursue the additional coursework leading to certification.


There are four main components to an ITEHP education:

(1) Classroom instruction in core areas (Essentials of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Drug Discovery; Environmental Health) and quantitative approaches appropriate for student research (including Statistics);

(2) Seminars and symposia that include literature analysis and presentation of primary research;

(3) Introductory and ongoing instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR); and

(4) Laboratory research.


Research strengths in Environmental Health and Toxicology at Duke University include:

  •  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 environmental health policy;
  • Exposure science with a focus on endocrine disrupters, pharmaceuticals, hydrocarbons and flame retardants, nanomaterials and inorganic pollutants including trace metals and metalloids; and
  • Environmental toxicology, focused on elucidating molecular mechanisms of action for toxins and other environmental influences on human.

The outstanding research environment provided 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 which supply training in leading-edge approaches to the students’ research.

There are approximately 40 core Duke faculty members in the Program serving as primary advisors for predoctoral students. The Program is further enriched by adjunct faculty from 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.