Structural Biology & Biophysics Program @ Duke University

Duke & Life in & around Durham, NC

(see also: Student Gallery , Former Student Quotes , and List of current students )

Duke University was founded in 1924 by an endowment from James Buchanan Duke on the site of Trinity College, whose roots go back to 1838.  Today Duke is one of the leading institutions of higher education in the United States, with 6,000 undergraduates, 5,200 graduate and professional students and a faculty of 1,200.  The undergraduate, medical, professional and graduate schools are situated on the edge of the Duke Forest, 7700 acres of rolling woodland and streams that provides sites for experimental research in the biological sciences as well as a network of public trails.  The close proximity of all the departments in the biological sciences, medicine and chemistry facilitates interactions in developing interdisciplinary courses, seminars and research opportunities. Additional facilities are provided by Duke Gardens and the Lemur Center, both on the Durham campus, and the Duke University Marine Laboratory, on the North Carolina coast.

Durham is a city of over 200,000 located midway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Blue Ridge Mountains. It forms the northern corner of the three cities comprising the Research Triangle, a rapidly growing metropolitan area of 1.7 million.  The other two cities are also sites of major research universities, the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University in Raleigh.  In the middle of the Triangle area is Research Triangle Park, the site of more than 50 major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, along with research laboratories of the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, and the Environmental Protection Agency.  Enhanced by sponsorship of the Research Triangle Institute and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, there are more relevant seminars and scientifically stimulating opportunities for discussion and research in the Triangle area than one can possibly take advantage of.

Durham and the surrounding community offer the attractions of affordable living in an uncrowded atmosphere with many of the cultural amenities of larger metropolitan areas.  Housing is relatively inexpensive and readily available.  Duke is the home of the nationally acclaimed American Dance Festival, and has wide offerings in theater, film, classical music, blue grass and jazz.  For those interested in sports, Duke has a wide variety of Athletics & Recreation facilities, as well as a full program of NCAA- and intramural-sponsored sports (including a national championship men's basketball team, although many prefer to follow the excellent women's basketball team).  The moderate temperatures throughout the year allow outdoor recreation of all types, in the local lakes and forests and, less than three hours away, on the Atlantic coast to the East or in the Blue Ridge Mountains to the West.  These attributes, combined with the rural quality that remains in much of the Triangle area, continue to make Durham an attractive place to live.