Duke CTSI Doubles Space at NC Research Campus for Translational Population Health Research, Home of MURDOCK Study

Duke CTSI leaders and staff gather with community stakeholders to celebrate the space expansion in Kannapolis, N.C.

Duke CTSI leaders and staff gather with community stakeholders to celebrate the space expansion in Kannapolis, N.C.

With a grateful nod to the past and a bright eye on the future, the Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) officially opened its expanded space Wednesday on the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis.

Duke doubled its presence on the campus to 10,100 square feet, all of it home to the Translational Population Health Research group, or “TransPop.”

Photo of L. Kristin Newby, MD speaking at the podium

L. Kristin Newby, MD

“As Duke enters the second decade of the foundational MURDOCK Study, CTSI has doubled the TransPop office space to accommodate even larger and more complex studies,” said L. Kristin Newby, M.D., the founding faculty director of Duke TransPop who led the evolution of the MURDOCK Study. “Everyone is looking forward to new collaborations that leverage the MURDOCK Study asset, as well as other projects based in Kannapolis that seek to improve health.”

From Duke’s expansive office suite on the third floor of the NCRC Medical Plaza, the crowd at the grand opening enjoyed a wonderful view of the new Kannapolis Sports and Entertainment Venue — the future home of the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers baseball team.

“Duke and the MURDOCK Study have helped put us on the map as a city where groundbreaking, community-based research is taking place,” Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant said. “Kannapolis is proud to be the home of the MURDOCK Study, and we look forward to upcoming studies made possible by Duke’s expansion on the North Carolina Research Campus.”

From humble beginnings in 2007 in a former downtown retail shop with one employee, Duke CTSI now has 27 employees in Kannapolis and 12,526 volunteers in the MURDOCK Study, plus hundreds more in other studies. Duke studies aim to better understand the transition between health and disease at the clinical, community, and molecular level, and ultimately contribute to improved diagnosis and treatment.

“I’m so pleased to see Duke expanding. In doubling their space, Duke joins the seven UNC System universities that have expanded their campus footprint within the past year,” said Mark Spitzer, president of Castle & Cooke NC, developer of the NC Research Campus. “Duke’s MURDOCK Study and other longitudinal health studies are particularly important to the overall mission of the North Carolina Research Campus, and Duke’s community-based research is vital as the campus grows through the increasing participation of each entity toward improving human health.”

Many Duke researchers and leaders arrived from Durham for the event, including Dr. Ebony Boulware, director of Duke CTSI, who congratulated the TransPop team on what they have built in Kannapolis.

“Not only is vital clinical research taking place here, but TransPop always places study participants at the center of everything they do,” Boulware said. “This community-based approach is the gold standard, and investigator after investigator tells me of their remarkable experience working with this team on grants, projects, and initiatives. Thank you for the important work you do for Duke CTSI and for Duke University as a whole. TransPop ensures that clinical research continues to flourish at Duke and in our North Carolina communities, and that the knowledge gained through research at Duke will improve the health of our communities.”