The MURDOCK Study began in 2007 with Horizon 1, an exploratory phase evaluating the potential and feasibility of large-scale biomarker research. Four diseases – cardiovascular disease, obesity, liver disease, and osteoarthritis – were selected based on the availability of biospecimens such as blood, urine, and tissue samples from previous cohort studies at Duke University.
The researchers working on these projects analyzed samples in an attempt to identify biomarkers and molecular signatures critical to the reclassification of disease. These efforts resulted in more than 20 publications, abstracts, and presentations within a short time, prompting recognition and new funding for the MURDOCK Study. The success of these studies demonstrated that the reclassification of disease through biomarker analysis is both achievable and clinically significant.