Joel Meyer

Professor of Environmental Genomics in the Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy

Dr. Meyer studies the effects of toxic agents and stressors on human and wildlife health. He is particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms by which environmental agents cause DNA damage, the molecular processes that organisms employ to protect prevent and repair DNA damage, and genetic differences that may lead to increased or decreased sensitivity to DNA damage. Mitochondrial DNA damage and repair, as well as mitochondrial function in general, are a particular focus. He studies these effects in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, in cell culture, and collaboratively in other laboratory model organisms as well as in human populations in the USA and globally.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor of Environmental Genomics in the Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy
  • Affiliate, Duke Global Health Institute
  • Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Contact Information

  • Office Location: A354 Lev Sci Res Ctr, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: +1 919 613 8109
  • Email Address:
  • Websites:


  • B.S. Juniata College, 1992
  • Ph.D. Duke University, 2003

Courses Taught

  • PHARM 848S: Seminar in Toxicology
  • PHARM 847S: Seminar in Toxicology
  • PHARM 494: Research Independent Study
  • PHARM 394: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 899: Master's Project
  • ENVIRON 848S: Seminar in Toxicology
  • ENVIRON 847S: Seminar in Toxicology
  • ENVIRON 819: Mechanisms in Environmental Toxicology
  • ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects
  • ENVIRON 501: Environmental Toxicology
  • ENVIRON 394: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 393: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 360: Environmental Health: Pollutant Chemistry and Toxicology

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Hartman, Jessica H., Claudia Gonzalez-Hunt, Samantha M. Hall, Ian T. Ryde, Kim A. Caldwell, Guy A. Caldwell, and Joel N. Meyer. “Genetic Defects in Mitochondrial Dynamics in Caenorhabditis elegans Impact Ultraviolet C Radiation- and 6-hydroxydopamine-Induced Neurodegeneration.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20, no. 13 (June 2019): E3202.
  • Hartman, Jessica H., Latasha L. Smith, Kacy L. Gordon, Ricardo Laranjeiro, Monica Driscoll, David R. Sherwood, and Joel N. Meyer. “Swimming Exercise and Transient Food Deprivation in Caenorhabditis elegans Promote Mitochondrial Maintenance and Protect Against Chemical-Induced Mitotoxicity.” Scientific Reports 8, no. 1 (May 2018): 8359.
  • Meyer, Joel N., Jessica H. Hartman, and Danielle F. Mello. “Mitochondrial Toxicity.” Toxicological Sciences : An Official Journal of the Society of Toxicology 162, no. 1 (March 2018): 15–23.
  • Luz, Anthony L., Christopher D. Kassotis, Heather M. Stapleton, and Joel N. Meyer. “The high-production volume fungicide pyraclostrobin induces triglyceride accumulation associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, and promotes adipocyte differentiation independent of PPARγ activation, in 3T3-L1 cells.” Toxicology 393 (January 2018): 150–59.
  • Meyer, Joel N., Tess C. Leuthner, and Anthony L. Luz. “Mitochondrial fusion, fission, and mitochondrial toxicity.” Toxicology 391 (November 2017): 42–53.
  • Luz, Anthony L., Tewodros R. Godebo, Latasha L. Smith, Tess C. Leuthner, Laura L. Maurer, and Joel N. Meyer. “Deficiencies in mitochondrial dynamics sensitize Caenorhabditis elegans to arsenite and other mitochondrial toxicants by reducing mitochondrial adaptability.” Toxicology 387 (July 2017): 81–94.