More than 12,000 local people are taking part in the Measurement to Understand the Reclassification of Disease of Cabarrus/Kannapolis — the long name for what’s more simply called the MURDOCK Study. Led by Duke University scientists, it’s among the largest medical studies of a single U.S. community.
Data+ and Duke CTSI TransPop have launched Social Determinants of Health in Kannapolis, North Carolina, an initiative to bring together data that will facilitate research using social determinants of health to examine and understand health disparities. A team of seven students led by faculty are building a database of publicly available data sources in Kannapolis and Cabarrus County. MURDOCK Study investigators will be able to tap into that data, adding richness and depth to the biorepository.
KANNAPOLIS, N.C.—Dec. 18, 2017—The first time Joseph Griggs met Nellie Griggs, he made a bold prediction.
“You’re going to be my wife,” Joseph told Nellie in August 2001 while they chatted in a New York City park.
With a study watch on her wrist and a sleep sensor in her new tote bag, a Caucasian woman in her 40s walked out of the Duke University Medical Center around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 13 as the first participant enrolled in the Project Baseline study in Durham.
Simultaneously, Duke’s Project Baseline study team in Kannapolis, North Carolina enrolled their third participant, bringing Duke’s total enrollment to four since June 29. A day-and-a-half-long process that includes multiple health tests and donations of blood, urine, saliva, tears, and other biospecimens, enrollment will continue ramping up this summer at both the Durham and Kannapolis locations, reaching full capacity this fall.
This week, the CTSI team in Kannapolis launched the Project Baseline study in North Carolina with the enrollment of Duke’s first participant. The study is the first initiative of Project Baseline, an ambitious effort to develop a well-defined “baseline” of human health, and a rich data platform to help researchers better understand health and disease and the transitions between them.
Physicians have long used beta interferon drugs to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), but these drugs only help about half
of patients. Now, samples and data from the MURDOCK
MS Study are helping researchers to better understand the difference between those who respond to beta-interferon treatment and those who do not. That could lead to alternative treatment options for people living with MS.
Continue reading MURDOCK MS Study Publishes Research Findings
A person carrying variants of two particular genes could be almost three times more likely to develop multiple sclerosis, according to the latest findings from scientists at Duke Health and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
The research used biological samples from the MURDOCK MS Study. The finding, published in the March 23 issue of the journal Cell, could open the way for new tests to identify people who are at greatest risk of MS and autoimmune disorders, as well as the development of novel drugs, the researchers said.
Continue reading New Gene Interaction Appears to be Associated with Increased MS Risk
More than 100 people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, have joined the new MURDOCK COPD Study, which will enroll 850 participants and follow the progression of the disease over five years.
The COPD study is a collaborative research effort between the MURDOCK Study and the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) to better understand how COPD progresses within a community. This observational study could help researchers develop a better way for healthcare providers to assess COPD progression in their patients. It could also provide new insights into the correlation between lung function, exercise capacity, or COPD symptoms and disease progression. The principal investigator is Scott Palmer, M.D., director for DCRI Respiratory Research.
“This disease can have a profound impact on someone’s quality of life. As healthcare providers caring for patients with COPD, we want to help our patients understand their risk for flare-ups of breathing problems, hospitalizations, and other outcomes that can negatively affect their lives,” said Jamie Todd, M.D., co-principal investigator of the MURDOCK COPD Study. “Much of what we have learned about COPD to date has been gathered from research done in large academic medical centers. But for this study, we have the unique opportunity to work with the MURDOCK Study to better understand the progression and management of COPD in a community setting.”
Participants do not have to already be enrolled in the MURDOCK Study or live in a certain zip code to qualify. Eligibility includes:
- At least 40 years old
- Current or former heavy smokers
- Not involved in an investigational drug study
- Not listed for (or have not received) a lung transplant
- Have COPD as determined by a breathing test administered during a screening visit
To learn more about enrolling in the MURDOCK COPD Study, call 704-250-5861 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome, Julie Eckstrand
Julie Eckstrand, R.Ph., has been named director of operations for the MURDOCK Study and Duke University’s other clinical research studies based at the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC).
A clinical pharmacist by training, Eckstrand will manage operations for the Translational Population Health Research Group, part of the new Duke Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI). The TransPop group’s research portfolio includes the MURDOCK Study and related projects involving biomarkers, longitudinal registries, and community-engaged research based at the Kannapolis office.
Eckstrand has offices in both Kannapolis and Durham and oversees a team of nearly 30 Duke employees.
“I am thrilled to return to my Duke family and begin new research endeavors with the NCRC community. We have important work to do that has the potential to be enormously impactful,” she said. “I am looking forward to meeting new collaborators and to a bright and productive future.”
Eckstrand has worked almost exclusively in human clinical research for 30 years. Most recently, she was executive director of the Nutrition Science Initiative, a nonprofit medical research organization dedicated to reducing the social and economic costs of obesity, diabetes, and other related and rare diseases by improving the quality of science in nutrition research.
Eckstrand returns to Duke after serving as assistant director for Clinical Support Services and Quality Management at the Duke Clinical Research Unit from 2011 to 2015. Prior to that, she worked as a clinical pharmacist in informatics specializing in enterprise analytics and patient safety research from 2006 to 2011.
A self-described “soccer mom, musician, and Sudoku fanatic,” Eckstrand is married and has two children in high school.