DURHAM, N.C. – Joel N. Meyer, assistant professor of environmental toxicology at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, has received the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) award.

Meyer won the five-year award, valued at $1,870,280, for his research project, “The Role of Mitochondrial DNA Damage in Neurodegeneration.”

Established in 2006, the highly competitive ONES program identifies outstanding tenure-track scientists who are in the early, formative stages of their careers and intend to make a long-term career commitment to research in the mission areas of NIEHS. The program assists them in launching an innovative research program focusing on problems of environmental exposures and human biology, human pathophysiology, and human disease.

Meyer’s experience lies in understanding environmental and genetic influences on organism health, with a focus on DNA integrity – how DNA damage is caused and repaired – as well as oxidative stress and processes of adaptation to pollution.  He has authored or co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed papers and two book chapters, and is teaching two classes at the Nicholas School this fall, and two more next spring. 

Prior to joining the Duke faculty in 2007, he was a postdoctoral researcher in molecular genetics at NIEHS, and taught middle school and high school biology and English in Guatemala.

Meyer earned a PhD in environmental toxicology from Duke in 2003, and a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental studies and peace and conflict studies from Juniata College in 1992.