Want to be a scientist? Come work in our labs this summer!

We currently have spots for full-time summer interns in the fields of biology, chemistry, psychology, neuroscience, engineering, and environmental sciences.  There are also opportunities to be involved in the Center’s research translation and community outreach efforts.  Please click the link below to open the document containing the descriptions for each of the opportunities.  The deadline for applications is March 3rd, 2014.

Summer 2014 Research Experience

Curious about what who’s worked with us in the past and what their experiences were like? You can read about the work of a few of our interns below, or by reading their blog posts on this website (click the REU tag). For more information about the internships, please contact Dr. Ed Levin by email (edlevin@duke.edu).

Ryan Nini (Summer 2012)

Ryan Nini

Under the mentorship of the Superfund Research Program, I collaborated with researchers from multiple research cores to process and analyze various samples from polyaromatic compounds in river sediment to flame retardants in household dust. My time with the Analytical Chemistry Core has been transformative, giving me a newfound awareness of the impacts of chemical use on our environment and in our households. Likewise, my experience working with other research cores enlightened me to the truly collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of science, fortifying my resolve to pursue a research career. The skills I have gained from the Superfund Research Program REU have served me well in my other research internships and will continue to serve me as I take the next step in graduate school.


Jina Kim (Summer 2012)

During my summer as an REU, I worked in Joel Meyer’s environmental toxicology lab to explore the relationship between polyaromatic hydrocarbons, a common environmental toxicant, and mitochondrial DNA damage. Mitochondrial DNA damage is increasingly known to be associated with various diseases and disorders, and is of particular interest due to its susceptibility to damage from environmental factors. The experience was incredibly educational and valuable, and ultimately led to independent studies and my senior thesis. This research also helped me determine my post-graduation goals, and I am now pursuing a master’s degree in environmental health at the Harvard School of Public Health.


Lauren Donoghue (Summer 2013)

Lauren Donoghue, Superfund intern and UNC student

My summer with the Duke Superfund Center was the perfect mix of scientific exploration and Durham sunshine to help me strengthen skills for future work in research. The REU program allowed me to spend a significant amount of time delving into a specific project, while also getting to learn about wide scopes of research happening within the Center and partners across the nation. In Dr. Joel Meyer’s lab with Project 3, I pursued a project investigating how oxidative stress contributes to mitochondrial dysfunction, such as that resulting from exposure to PAHs. We used C. elegans as model organisms for this work, not only because they have similar genomes to humans, but they are also easy to work with and reproduce within days. As a student at a neighboring university, I was fortunate to be able to maintain my connection with the Meyer lab and have continued research during my senior year, expanding upon the findings of my first experiment in the lab. The lively and positive environment with the Duke Superfund Center has made me feel more confident in future plans to pursue doctoral training in an environmental health field, and my project has contributed considerably to my skills as a researcher on behalf of healthier and safer lives for both humans and the environment.