MURDOCK Study having success enrolling Latinos

Published 12:05 am Friday, December 12, 2014


KANNAPOLIS — Perla Nunes, a project leader with Duke University’s MURDOCK Study, recently detailed the study’s success in enrolling Latinos during a presentation at the nation’s top public health conference.

Nunes, who oversees community outreach and recruitment efforts for the MURDOCK Study, presented at the American Public Health Association’s 142nd Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans. More than 13,000 people attended the four-day conference in November.

Perla Nunes

Perla Nunes

The MURDOCK Study, which is based at the N.C. Research Campus, has enrolled 1,374 Latinos, or 12.5 percent of all participants. That’s up from 2 percent, thanks to grassroots efforts like translating all materials into Spanish, hiring more bilingual staff and offering flexible appointment times.

Nationally, Hispanics represent only about 1 percent of people enrolled in clinical trials, said Nunes, who presented “Engaging the Latino Community for Recruitment into a Large Population Registry and Biorepository” during the Latino Caucus of the APHA Annual Meeting.

“The feedback was very positive and people were very impressed,” she said. “The percentage of Hispanics that we have in our registry is considered quite a large number.”

Duke University is working to enroll 50,000 people in a community registry. So far, more than 11,000 volunteers have joined, providing their health information and donating small samples of blood and urine.

Researchers are using the information and biological samples as they work to reclassify disease using advanced scientific technologies 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.

Enrollment takes about 45 minutes and is offered at 10 convenient locations. To start the process, call 704-250-5861 or visit Participants are compensated.

Duke 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 American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting and Exposition serves as the home for public health professionals to convene, learn, network and engage with peers. They share the latest research and information, promote best practices and advocate for public health issues and policies grounded in research.