A Note From Your Principal Investigator

Greetings MURDOCK Study participants,

I wanted you to be among the first to know about an exciting new study opportunity in Kannapolis at the Duke Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) on the North Carolina Research Campus.

The Project Baseline study is a groundbreaking collaboration between Duke, Verily, Stanford Medicine, and Google. Thanks to you, the MURDOCK Study has paved the way for new initiatives in Kannapolis like the Project Baseline study. The very first person enrolled by Duke into the study is also a MURDOCK Study participant!

With the MURDOCK Study as the foundation, Duke’s work in Kannapolis — called Translational Population Health Research, or TransPop — continues to grow. As we like to say, Duke’s Kannapolis office is #MURDOCKandMore!

The Project Baseline study is on a mission to develop a well-defined “baseline” of human health. It starts with contributions from approximately 10,000 individuals who will be followed for at least four years.

You may register online at projectbaseline.com and be considered for the study if you:

  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Are a resident of the United States
  • Speak and read English or Spanish
  • Do not have a severe allergy to nickel or metal jewelry

Enrollment and the initial study visit in Kannapolis includes multiple health tests and donations of blood, urine, saliva, tears, and other biological samples. The study will collect data about each participant’s sleep, diet, exercise and physical activity, cardiovascular function, genetic makeup, and other information. Participants use special sensors to contribute data around the clock, including Verily Study Watch, an investigational device.

The most important partner in the Project Baseline study, however, is not an academic institution, a doctor, scientist, or piece of technology. It is participants. From the first step, participants are at the center of this unique endeavor as we work together toward a healthier tomorrow for future generations.

 This ambitious study aims to:

  • Better understand the transition from health to disease
  • Identify risk factors for disease
  • Harness technology’s full power to collect, visualize and understand health data
  • Help people live longer, healthier lives

I encourage you to learn more about this exciting opportunity by visiting www.projectbaseline.com or calling toll-free 855-5-BASELINE (855-522-7354), Monday-Friday 8 a.m.–11 p.m. or Saturday 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

 Please remember to fill out your Annual Follow-Up Form when the MURDOCK Study team contacts you around the anniversary of your enrollment.

 Thank you!


Dr. Kristin Newby
MURDOCK Study principal investigator

Follow-Up Hall of Fame

Congratulations and thank you to the 10 newest members of the Follow-Up Hall of Fame! These MURDOCK participants were randomly chosen from among the hundreds who marked five years of completing Annual Follow-Up Forms as of the previous quarter. Be sure to ll out your Annual Follow-Up Form each year for a chance to have your name listed in the Hall of Fame.

  • Juanita Mitten
  • Lillian Brightman
  • Ron Charbonneau
  • Charlene Goff
  • Jacquelin Magni
  • Bobby Puckett
  • Heather Nodeland
  • Heather Trexler
  • Larry Shaver
  • Natasha Krueger

Duke launches second enrollment location for Project Baseline study

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.

Continue reading Duke launches second enrollment location for Project Baseline study

CTSI team enrolls first Duke participant in Project Baseline

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.

Read more on the Duke School of Medicine blog

MURDOCK MS Study Publishes Research Findings

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

New Gene Interaction Appears to be Associated with Increased MS Risk

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

Congratulations, Follow-Up Raffle Winner Gloria Rucker!

Gloria Rucker of Concord fills out her Annual Follow-Up Form every year. This time, she won the $150 prize in a random drawing of those who had completed their forms.

“I was shocked,” she said. “People should fill out their form quickly, as soon as they get it. They might be a winner like me.”

Rucker battled multiple myeloma last year and survived thanks to a stem cell transplant in August 2016. She spent 15 days in the hospital and is now in remission.

She said she feels it’s important for MURDOCK Study participants who become sick to tell researchers by filling out their Annual Follow-Up Forms every year.

“I want to make sure that you continue to know about my health as it changes,” she said.

A longtime Cabarrus County teacher assistant and bus driver, Rucker retired in 2008 after working at W.R. Odell Elementary and Weddington Hills Elementary for 30 years. She enjoys serving her church, Rock Hill AME Zion, and has a son who is a student at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

For her prize, she chose a gift card to Olive Garden so she could share her good fortune with husband Larry Rucker, who is also enrolled in the MURDOCK Study.

COPD Study Enrollment Tops 100

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 murdock-study@duke.edu.

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