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Campus Celebrates Historic Milestone

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Academia, science, industry and government leaders gathered in Kannapolis, Monday, October 20th at 10 AM at the Dedication and Open House celebration for the David H. Murdock Core Laboratory Building, the UNC Nutrition Research Building and the NC State Fruit and Vegetable Science Institute Building. The UNC Nutrition Research Building is home to NC A&T University, NC Central University, UNC Chapel Hill and UNC Greensboro. NC State University, Appalachian State University, and Dole Food Company will occupy the NC State Fruit and Vegetable Science Institute Building at the NC Research Campus. UNC Charlotte will have tenure track faculty members located in the UNC Nutrition Building and the NC State Fruit and Vegetable Science Institute Building, and will also have a presence in the 311,000 square foot David H. Murdock Core Laboratory Building. "This campus fulfills my lifelong dream of being able to change the world's thoughts on nutrition and find ways to cure many of the dreadful diseases that have affected all of us and our families. It excites me to think of the groundbreaking research that will occur as a result of having these world class universities and companies here working together all in one place," stated David Murdock.

Erskine B. Bowles, President of the UNC System along with Dr. Steven Leath, Vice President of Research for the UNC System and Dr. Victor J. Dzau, Chancellor for Health Affairs, Duke University and President and CEO, Duke University Health System spoke at the event. Dr. Stanley F. Battle, Chancellor, NC A&T University, Dr. Linda P. Brady, Chancellor, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Dr. Philip L. Dubois, Chancellor, University of North Carolina Charlotte, Dr. Charlie Nelms, Chancellor, North Carolina Central University, Dr. James L. Oblinger, Chancellor, North Carolina State University, Dr. Kenneth E. Peacock, Chancellor, Appalachian State University, and Vice Chancellor Dr. Tony G. Waldrop of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill were on hand to represent each of their respective universities on the dais. In addition, representatives from a number of other universities within the UNC System were in attendance. President Erskine Bowles said, "I'm immensely proud that researchers and graduate students from seven UNC campuses are actively involved at the NC Research Campus, but what really energizes and excites me is all the cutting-edge research and life-altering discoveries that will happen within these world-class laboratories and facilities. With education, government, and the private sector working together in partnership, this Research Campus has enormous potential to create new jobs and spur economic development in our state."

Special guests included US Senator Elizabeth H. Dole, US Senator Richard M. Burr, US Congressman Robin C. Hayes, US Congressman J. Howard Coble, US Congressman Mel Watt, Lieutenant Governor Beverly E. Perdue, NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, along with former Governors James B. Hunt, Jr. and James G. Martin. Senator Marc Basnight, President Pro Tempore, NC Senate, and Speaker Joe Hackney, Speaker of the NC House of Representatives, along with NC Senator Fletcher L. Hartsell, Jr., led the delegation of area representatives from the NC Senate and NC House of Representatives to the dais. "This campus is a shining example of the future and vision of the state of North Carolina," remarked Senator Fletcher Hartsell. "I am reminded of Thomas Jefferson's quote, 'I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.' I can only imagine what great discovery and promise lies ahead because of the collaboration on this campus." Senator Dole, Senator Burr, Congressman Hayes, Senator Basnight, and Senator Hartsell return to the campus after having been present for the announcement of the NC Research Campus on September 25, 2005 and subsequent events in the development of the campus. The NC Research Campus is poised to generate 30,000 jobs for the state of North Carolina in the next 12 - 15 years. "The North Carolina Research Campus will strengthen our state's standing as a national biotech leader, it will create new jobs, and its scientific innovations will improve the health and well-being of people around the world," said Lt. Governor Bev Perdue. "Biotechnology is the next frontier of health science and as new discoveries are made, North Carolina will lead the way." The Mayor of Kannapolis, Robert S. Misenheimer, along with many other dignitaries from surrounding counties and cities participated in the dedication ceremony and tours of the buildings. Dr. Carol Spalding, recently named as President of Rowan Cabarrus Community College, was seated on the dais representing the community college for the celebration.

In addition to academic institutions, top officials from a number of companies who will have a strong presence on the NC Research Campus were on hand for the event. Those companies include Carolinas Healthcare System, Cabarrus Health Alliance, Dole Food Company, LabCorp, Pharmaceutical Product Development, Sensory Spectrum, Anatomics, Red Hat, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute and the Charlotte Research Institute. Researchers from academia, science and industry will be focused on studying health, nutrition, and agriculture. Primary areas of concentration are cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, brain development, liver disease and osteoarthritis.

The ceremony was held at the main entrance on Research Campus Drive near the front steps into the David H. Murdock Core Laboratory Building. The public was invited to park in the new parking deck adjacent to the site of the event.

The 350 acre campus is a public-private venture created to foster collaboration and further knowledge in biotechnology, nutrition, agriculture, and health. The David H. Murdock Research Institute, located within the David H. Murdock Core Laboratory, will house the most state-of-the art scientific equipment in the areas of genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, animal and plant imaging, microscopy, and structural chemistry. In preparation for the opening of the campus, the DHMRI has purchased the first phase of equipment for the various core laboratories, including the Bruker Biospin 950 MHz NMR. In addition to the DHMRI initiative, David H. Murdock has invested $35 million in a longitudinal population-based research initiative led by Duke University to examine the behavioral and genetic differences in people that lead to the development of disease. The project, entitled the M.U.R.D.O.C.K Study, is an acronym for Measurement to Understand the Reclassification of Disease in Cabarrus/Kannapolis. It will be conducted on site by Duke University scientists and their collaborators and will span over a number of years. "This beautiful, one-of-a-kind Core Laboratory is the heart of the Campus, and I believe it represents an unprecedented opportunity for scientists here to perform breakthrough research that can eventually transform the way we think about and practice medicine," said Dr. Victor Dzau.

Mr. Murdock's vision for the campus is for the NC Research Campus to be the epicenter of health, wellness and disease research in the world. The presence of vast scientific and human resources combined in a unique collaborative environment on the campus will increase the flow of information from the academic laboratory to industry, resulting in an improvement in the quality of life for people here and around the world. "The possible collaboration of the different entities at the NC Research Campus is endless and will be the start of a whole new era of collaborative research and innovation to benefit mankind," stated David Murdock. "And that's good news for a world needing to hear good news."

SOURCE North Carolina Research Campus
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