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Research Fellowships

Using Zebrafish to Detect Developmentally Neurotoxic Chemicals Research

EPA Office of Research and Development

EPA National Science Foundation Graduate Research Internship Program (GRIP) & Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Opportunities

Opportunity Title:

Using Zebrafish to Detect Developmentally Neurotoxic Chemicals Research

Research Area:

Human Health Risk Assessment

EPA Lab/Center/Office:

Center for Computational Toxicology & Exposure, Biomolecular & Computational Toxicology Division, Rapid Assay Development Branch


Research Triangle Park, North Carolina


3-12 months

Brief Summary:

This internship will use a cutting-edge laboratory model, the zebrafish, to assess the variables that affect zebrafish larval behavior and develop new tests that assess nervous system function.

Opportunity Description:

Zebrafish are the new laboratory rat, but with added advantages. EPA is building a program using zebrafish for rapid identification of chemicals likely to be toxic to the developing organism, particularly to the developing nervous system. Zebrafish have the body plan of a vertebrate, but with the added advantage that the genome is as easy to edit as an invertebrate. The embryos are small and develop extremely rapidly [movie viewed at:]. Also, zebrafish have most of the same genes that humans do, so they can be used to rapidly assess whether environmental chemicals or human drugs cause toxicity during development.

Opportunities for Professional Development:

The intern would (1) be part of an active scientific research team, (2) be able to conduct independent research, (3) learn how to design and carry out experiments, (4) be given the opportunity to prepare research summaries in written and oral form (5) learn statistical analysis and graphing programs, (6) become proficient in zebrafish husbandry and handling. Depending on the length of the internship, it is possible that the student may be a co-author on a poster or manuscript.

Point of Contact or Mentor:

Stephanie Padilla 

Field(s) of Study:

Please contact the EPA mentor