MURDOCK Study hosting appreciation day

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2014

KANNAPOLIS — As a thank you to more than 10,800 people who have enrolled so far, the MURDOCK Study will host a free Community Appreciation Event and 5K/Fun Run Saturday at the N.C. Research Campus.
Registration for the run begins at 8:15 a.m. in front of the Core Laboratory Building at 150 Research Campus Drive, and runners will hit the pavement promptly at 9 a.m. Other events, including health screenings, yoga, Zumba, kids’ activities and cooking demonstrations, will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m.
Organizers hope the festival will encourage additional participants to join Duke University’s MURDOCK Study, which aims to enroll 50,000 people living in Cabarrus County and parts of Rowan, Stanly and Mecklenburg counties. Reflecting that goal, Saturday’s race is dubbed “5K for 50K.”
“We wanted to have an event to celebrate 10,000 enrollees, but by this weekend we will be close to 11,000 enrollees,” said Perla Nunes, the clinical trials project leader who oversees community outreach and recruitment efforts for the MURDOCK Study. “We want to celebrate them, bring them back and have fun.”
Volunteers who enroll in the study give about 3 tablespoons of blood and 3 tablespoons of urine one time and complete a health questionnaire, which they update each year. Duke University owes participants a debt of gratitude for contributing vital information that will help researchers better understand chronic diseases like obesity and multiple sclerosis and ultimately lead to finding more effective treatments, Nunes said.
“We owe them for participating and volunteering their time, health information and biological specimens,” she said.
This marks the first time since 2010 that the MURDOCK Study has hosted a community-wide event, and organizers said they expect more than 20 vendors to have tables offering everything from food to health-related information and services.
The first 250 people who register for the 5K will receive a free MURDOCK Study race T-shirt and performance socks. Runners can register online at or in person starting at 8:15 a.m. Saturday.
All runners should report to the race registration table. Other guests coming to the appreciation event should check in at the welcome table to receive an event schedule, vendor map, free bananas, water and more.
The event will feature music, movement and family fun. Mascots will interact with children and pose for pictures. Look for Norm the Niner from the UNCC 49ers, Fat Cat from the State Employees Credit Union, Tim E. Gator from the Kannapolis Intimidators and frogs from Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt.
A DJ on the main stage in front of the Core Lab will entertain the crowd throughout the day, and Peanut Lambert of the Cabarrus County Senior Center will teach line dancing at 10:30 a.m. Great Wolf Lodge will offer chair massages throughout the event.
Novant Health will offer a variety of screenings from 10 a.m. to noon in the N.C. State University building on the research campus.
“My hope is that people will take advantage of these free health screenings,” Nunes said.
The Free Community Yoga program at Cabarrus Health Alliance will offer a yoga class and demonstration from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. at the Veterans Park gazebo, and people who love Latin dance can take a Zumba class at 11:30 a.m. at the main stage. Children’s activities will include face painting and balloon animals.
“This is all about giving back to the community,” Nunes said.
Duke University launched the MURDOCK Study in 2007 with a $35 million gift from David H. Murdock, founder and developer of the N.C. Research Campus. The study’s name stands for Measurement to Understand the Reclassification of Disease Of Cabarrus/Kannapolis.
The study aims to reclassify disease using advanced scientific technologies, experts from Duke and their collaborators, participation from the community and a network of partners. Researchers are working to ultimately identify links across major diseases and disorders and find ways to treat and even defeat some of today’s leading causes of illness and death.