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Integrated Toxicology Program

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The Duke University Integrated Toxicology Training Program (ITP) has been an important component of science education and research at Duke University since 1978. Its mission is to provide outstanding pre-doctoral and postdoctoral training in toxicology and thus to contribute both to the advancement of the field as well as to the careers of the individual trainees. The ITP is an interdepartmental and multi-disciplinary program in which Ph.D. degrees are awarded jointly by the Department and the Program. Post-doctoral trainees perform toxicological research under the mentorship of ITP faculty, and are tightly integrated into the program through seminars, symposia, poster programs, governance committees, and participation as students and lecturers in ITP core courses. There are four, well-established research strengths in toxicology at Duke University, and trainees with interests in and aptitudes for these areas are targeted for recruitment: Mutagenesis and Carcinogenesis, Oxidative Stress and Pulmonary Toxicology, Endocrine Disruptors and Developmental Toxicology, and Neurotoxicology. At the core of the Program is the excellent academic and research environment provided by participating units from the Duke University Medical Center, the Nicholas School of the Environment, and Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. This year (2000), two premier scientists have been recruited to the Duke ITP, David Hinton (first Nicholas Chair of Environmental Toxicology) and David Schwartz (Director of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine). Currently there are 26 core Duke faculty in the ITP that can serve as primary advisors for Ph.D. students or as preceptors for postdoctoral fellows. The program is enriched by the participation of additional adjunct faculty associated with the Research Triangle Park-based institutions such as the NIEHS, the U.S. EPA, and the Chemical Industries Institute of Toxicology. These faculty provide seminars, guest lectures in courses, serve on student committees, and/or provide technical expertise and research facilities. Through the ITP, students and research associates receive classroom and laboratory training that prepares them for competitive research at the highest level. This success depends in good part on the investigators ability to attract excellent students into the program, and our recruiting and admissions efforts have consistently provided us with outstanding young people eager to embark upon a career in toxicology. This competitive renewal includes a number of changes in the faculty and organizational structure of the ITP that will enhance the ability of the ITP to attract the brightest toxicology students in the U.S. and provide them with the educational opportunities they deserve.
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