Richard T Di Giulio

Di Giulio

Sally Kleberg Professor of Environmental Toxicology

Dr. Di Giulio serves as Director of Duke University's Integrated Toxicology Program and the Superfund Basic Research Center.

Dr. Di Giulio's research is concerned with basic studies of mechanisms of contaminant metabolism, adaptation and toxicity, and with the development of mechanistically-based indices of exposure and toxicity that can be employed in biomonitoring. The long term goals of this research are to bridge the gap between mechanistic toxicological research and the development of useful tools for environmental assessment, and to elucidate linkages between human and ecosystem health. The bulk of Dr. Di Giulio's work employs a comparative approach with aquatic animals, particularly fishes, as models. Of particular concern are mechanisms of oxidative metabolism of aromatic hydrocarbons, mechanisms of free radical production and antioxidant defense, and mechanisms of chemical carcinogenesis, developmental perturbations and adaptations to contaminated environments by fishes.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Sally Kleberg Professor of Environmental Toxicology
  • Professor of Environmental Toxicology
  • Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Contact Information

  • Office Location: A346b Lev Sci Res Ctr, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 613-8024
  • Email Address:


  • Ph.D. Virginia Polytech Institute and State University, 1982
  • M.S. Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, 1978
  • B.A. University of Texas at Austin, 1972

Courses Taught

  • ENVIRON 393: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 394: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 501: Environmental Toxicology
  • ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects
  • ENVIRON 899: Master's Project
  • ENVIRON 997: Duke Environmental Leadership: Independent Studies and Projects
  • ENVIRON 999: Duke Environmental Leadership: Master's Project

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Trevisan, R; Voy, C; Chen, S; Di Giulio, RT, Nanoplastics Decrease the Toxicity of a Complex PAH Mixture but Impair Mitochondrial Energy Production in Developing Zebrafish., Environmental Science & Technology, vol 53 no. 14 (2019), pp. 8405-8415 [10.1021/acs.est.9b02003] [abs].
  • Brandt, JE; Simonin, M; Di Giulio, RT; Bernhardt, ES, Beyond Selenium: Coal Combustion Residuals Lead to Multielement Enrichment in Receiving Lake Food Webs., Environmental Science & Technology, vol 53 no. 8 (2019), pp. 4119-4127 [10.1021/acs.est.9b00324] [abs].
  • Abtahi, SMH; Trevisan, R; Di Giulio, R; Murphy, CJ; Saleh, NB; Vikesland, PJ, Implications of aspect ratio on the uptake and nanotoxicity of gold nanomaterials, Nanoimpact, vol 14 (2019) [10.1016/j.impact.2019.100153] [abs].
  • Gearhart-Serna, LM; Davis, JB; Jayasundara, N; Jolly, MK; Sauer, SJ; Levine, H; Di Giulio, RT; Devi, GR, Exposure to a Naturally Occurring Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Mixture Triggers an Aggressive Phenotype in Estrogen Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer Cells, International Journal of Toxicology, vol 38 no. 1 (2019), pp. 37-38 [abs].
  • Brandt, JE; Lauer, NE; Vengosh, A; Bernhardt, ES; Di Giulio, RT, Strontium Isotope Ratios in Fish Otoliths as Biogenic Tracers of Coal Combustion Residual Inputs to Freshwater Ecosystems, Environmental Science & Technology Letters, vol 5 no. 12 (2018), pp. 718-723 [10.1021/acs.estlett.8b00477] [abs].