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Interdisciplinary Studies



As part of Duke's ongoing commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship, Provost Lange created the faculty joint hiring program, to encourage collaboration between Schools and Departments, and University Institutes and Centers (UICs).  Faculty hired through this program contribute to the scholarly and educational agendas of both institutes and schools, and promote the culture of collaboration that leads to advances in areas of knowledge that require expertise from multiple disciplines.  Joint faculty appointments between Duke's schools and institutes have exploded over the last several years, and reflect Duke's broader trend toward inquiry across disciplines, both in research and education. 

Strategic hiring across the university, especially through these joint hires between University Institutes and Schools, has enhanced Duke's interdisciplinary profile, producing a new wave of scholars who easily cross disciplinary boundaries and have intellectual connections to one another that produce fertile ground for interdisciplinary scholarship.


Featured Faculty

The links below will introduce you to some of the growing number of faculty at Duke who are engaged in research and teaching across multiple areas of the university. Many are also jointly appointed or affiliated with an interdisciplinary institute or center. Check back periodically to learn about additional faculty whose work spans disciplinary boundaries. (Faculty photos: Les Todd, Duke Photography)

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Lasana Harris, assistant professor in Psychology & Neuroscience, the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, investigates social cognition and complex human behaviors like empathy and prejudice.

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Erica Field, associate professor in Economics and the Duke Global Health Institute, uses an integrated micro-economic approach to study development, poverty, and health.

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Billy Pizer, associate professor in Public Policy and faculty fellow in the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, focuses on designing and evaluating alternative policies and programs to mitigate climate change.

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Katherine Heller, assistant professor in Statistical Science and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and a member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences faculty network, apply graphical statistical methods to study aspects of human behavior.

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Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, professor in Practical Ethics in Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics, and a member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences faculty network, works to better understand the neural and psychological sources of moral judgments as well as the implications of neuroscience for freedom and responsibility.

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Nicolas Buchler, assistant professor in Biology and Physics and an investigator in the Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, studies biological cells and their ability to self-replicate and adapt to new environments, part of a growing and exciting subfield of physics.

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William Pan, assistant professor of Environmental Health in the Nicholas School and of Global Environmental Health in the Duke Global Health Institute, uses an interdisciplinary approach to examine complex global health issues.

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Jenny Tung — assistant professor in Evolutionary Anthropology, faculty associate in the Duke Population Research Institute, affiliate of the Social Science Research Institute and member of the Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy — focuses on the interplay between genes and behavior.