Duke hires six new employees for MURDOCK study

Published 2:03 am Thursday, October 30, 2014

KANNAPOLIS — Duke University has hired six additional employees for the MURDOCK Study, bringing the staff total to 34, including 26 people working in Kannapolis and eight in Durham.

The MURDOCK Study is a medical research study based at the North Carolina Research Campus working to enroll 50,000 people living in Cabarrus County and parts of Rowan, Stanly and Mecklenburg counties in a community registry.

Nearly 11,000 people have enrolled in the study so far. Volunteers give about 3 tablespoons of blood and 3 tablespoons of urine one time and complete a health questionnaire, which they update each year.

Duke has two new clinical research coordinators working on the MURDOCK Study. They are:

Dr. Abha Singh of Mooresville has a master’s degree in clinical research and doctorate of medicine from Bangalore Medical College in Bangalore, India. Before coming to Duke, Singh worked for the Data Coordination Center at the Medical University of South Carolina as program coordinator for several National Institutes of Health studies and research assistant for the Lupus Registry in the Department of Rheumatology and Immunology. She enrolls participants and is responsible for the regulatory aspects of the MURDOCK Study.

Carla Kingsbury of Cornelius worked for Carolinas Healthcare System in traumatic brain injury research before taking a job with Duke. Kingsbury graduated from Wingate University with a bachelor’s degree in human services and psychology. She enrolls participants and manages sub-studies of the MURDOCK Study in multiple sclerosis and primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

Two new clinical-trials assistants have joined the MURDOCK Study. They are:

Asia Lattimore of Charlotte transferred to the MURDOCK Study’s Kannapolis office from Duke’s main campus in Durham, where she worked for Employee Health. Lattimore and earned a degree in business and accounting from Piedmont Community College in Roxboro. Lattimore oversees the scheduling process and manages quality assurance.

Kirsten Bahnson of Charlotte worked as a medical scribe in the Emergency Department at Carolinas Medical Center University before coming to Duke. She earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Davidson College in 2013 with a focus on biological anthropology and premedical coursework. Bahnson recruits and educates prospective MURDOCK Study participants and also assists with specimen collection and processing.

Duke added two employees to help market and promote the MURDOCK Study. They are:

Michael Nunes of Charlotte, a senior marketing assistant, joined Duke to help plan, develop and coordinate promotion and recruitment for the study. Nunes graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and a concentration in advertising and public relations. He held a professional internship with the UNCW Athletics department, where he helped promote all athletic events and served as the radio announcer for the UNCW Seahawk Softball team.

Emily Ford of Salisbury came to Duke as the MURDOCK Study’s first communications specialist. Ford previously worked as a journalist and freelance writer and was a reporter for the Salisbury Post. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Dakota and also teaches yoga.

The MURDOCK 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 will use the community registry 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.

Duke launched the MURDOCK Study in 2007 with a $35 million gift from David H. Murdock, founder and developer of the Research Campus. The study’s name stands for Measurement to Understand the Reclassification of Disease Of Cabarrus/Kannapolis.

Enrollment takes about 45 minutes and is offered at nine convenient locations. To start the process, call 704-250-5861 or visit www.murdock-study.org. Participants are compensated.