UNC System President Margaret Spellings visits NC Research Campus

Published 3:25 pm Monday, March 14, 2016

KANNAPOLIS — New University of North Carolina system President Margaret Spellings visited the N.C. Research Campus on Monday as part of her “100 Days” tour.

Along with the Research Campus, she is visiting all 16 public universities, the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics and UNC Health Care to “learn and experience first-hand what makes the UNC system the greatest public university in the country,” she said in a news release.

Spellings toured the David H. Murdock Research Institute learning specifically about the institute’s capabilities in genomics, nuclear magnetic resonance and microscopy. Following the tour, she met with N.C. Sen. Fletcher Hartsell, Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant, State Representative Linda Johnson and Mark Spitzer, vice president of operations for Castle & Cooke, the developers of the N.C. Research Campus. They discussed the growth of the campus, focusing on the critical role of the partnership with the university system and the upcoming revitalization of Kannapolis’ downtown.

She met with scientists from the N.C. State University Plants for Human Health Institute, the Dole Nutrition Institute and the UNC Charlotte Bioinformatics Research Group, who are the leaders of the N.C. Research Campus’ Plant Pathway Elucidation Project (P2EP). Graduate students in P2EP presented their research conducted in part by undergraduate summer interns on crops like oat, blueberry and broccoli.

She then visited the Appalachian State University Human Performance Laboratory and witnessed an ongoing study with cyclists investigating the proteomic signature of athletic overreach. She ended her tour at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute gaining insight into how the institute is advancing the field of targeted nutrition through their laboratory work and advanced instrumentation like a human whole-room calorimeter that measures a person’s metabolic rate over a 24-hour period.

Mike Todd, executive director for the UNC system at the N.C. Research Campus who represents the seven partnering universities, said, “We are so pleased  that President Spellings could visit us so early in her tenure. This was the first opportunity she’s had to visit the N.C. Research Campus and learn about our capabilities, our contribution to the state and how our model of scientific collaboration works. We look forward to future visits and working closely with her and her office.”