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Duke Gets $35 Million for Disease-Fighting Study

Posted September 24, 2007

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— Billionaire David Murdock on Monday gave $35 million to Duke University for for health research.

The gift, which officials said was the largest in history for Duke's School of Medicine, will fund studies to develop more comprehensive and effective approaches to fighting diseases.

"This research will reinvent how scientists prevent diseases and save lives," Murdock said in a statement.

The gift was announced at the North Carolina Research Campus, which the owner of Dole Food Co. Inc. is building in Kannapolis. Murdock and a host of Duke officials, including Duke President Richard Brodhead and Victor Dzau, chancellor for health affairs at Duke and chief executive officer of the Duke Medical Center, were at the presentation.

The Measurement to Understand Reclassification of Disease Cabarrus/Kannapolis (M.U.R.D.O.C.K.) study will involve translational research, which focuses on turning scientific discoveries into life science applications.

"Transformation has always been our mission at the research campus," Murdock said. "(This study) will establish the campus as the new destination for discovery."

Rob Califf, director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute, told the Independent Tribune in Kannapolis that plans for Duke’s commitment to the Research Campus are being finalized.

“It’s not just science for science’s sake,” Califf told the newspaper. “It’s taking findings and making them useful.”

Duke also was expected to spell out plans for its presence at the $1 billion project that is being built on the site of a former textile mill.

The University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University and several other universities are working with Murdoch on the project.

"I've always said that the minds aligned at the campus combined with our state-of-the-art equipment will produce breakthroughs that can change the world," Murdock said in a statement. "This announcement will demonstrate that the vision is becoming a reality."

Murdock also owns Castle & Cooke, which is developing the campus.

52 Comments

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  • richard2 Sep 24, 2007

    This is about how much they payed the lacrosse players.

  • All child molesters should die Sep 24, 2007

    Coach K is GREAT:

    I'm not going to dignify your quesiton with an answer. You are more than welcome to draw your own conclusions.

    Thanks,

    Beth

  • Coach K is GREAT Sep 24, 2007

    Strawberry, has a PERSON in your lifetime hurt you in some way for you to make a statement like that????

  • Huey Sep 24, 2007

    From what I can find on news sites I would have to say that this
    man is evil. News articles say he has stolen from his employees and lied to them. For Duke to accept this tainted money does not
    speak well for Duke. Of course, lately, not much has spoken well
    for Duke it would seem.

  • elcid89 Sep 24, 2007

    Super Yikes. Please correct that to was a close friend. I haven't really gotten used to her being gone yet.

  • elcid89 Sep 24, 2007

    "Elcid89: Thank you for the clarification. I am a Kannapolis native but have been away since 1963. My brother still lives there and has been a victim of the Cannon/Fieldcrest/Pillowtex shenanigans. It is sad to me that a segment of our population is born with manufacturing mentality. They do it well, but that is all they can do, and nothing is being done in this country to accommodate that workforce."

    No problem. I agree with you on those points.

    My family is also engaged in textile manufacturing, so the whole sordid affair hit particularly hard with us. Mariam is a close friend, and her feelings about what the man was doing, and how her father would have felt were just awful. Given how much he tried to do for his workers, I imagine Mr. Charles is rolling over in his grave about it.

  • elcid89 Sep 24, 2007

    "What a bunch of ignorant creeps. This guy gives 35 million for medical research and you have the "gall" to critize. You can pray to God all you want, but my best advice is to do something to help yourself."

    Hondaman - you need to look into the background on this person. We're criticizing based on the very bad things he's done in the past. He hurt a great many people and left many of them penniless, yet he comes out of the affair a billionaire. He's never made it right for them, even though he can clearly afford to do so, based on the checks he's writing now to give away money.

  • superman Sep 24, 2007

    What a bunch of ignorant creeps. This guy gives 35 million for medical research and you have the "gall" to critize. You can pray to God all you want, but my best advice is to do something to help yourself.

  • wrkmnjnc Sep 24, 2007

    Elcid89: Thank you for the clarification. I am a Kannapolis native but have been away since 1963. My brother still lives there and has been a victim of the Cannon/Fieldcrest/Pillowtex shenanigans. It is sad to me that a segment of our population is born with manufacturing mentality. They do it well, but that is all they can do, and nothing is being done in this country to accommodate that workforce.

  • elcid89 Sep 24, 2007

    His bit came before Pillowtex. He initiated a takeover of Fieldcrest Cannon, and then drained the pension fund to pay for the acquisition. Later, when financial problems came along, he just simply said "sorry, you no longer have a pension. have a nice day."

    Evil man.

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