The head of Dole Food Company Inc. is has created a permanent fund to sustain the operations of a North Carolina food, agriculture and health research institute which bears his name. David Murdock said Wednesday he is giving $50 million to the self-named research institute at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis.
“We are at a point in time where we can make many great studies that will come out along the way. Because we do have the power of many great brains.”
Murdock explains the purpose of his endowment:
“I decided to put some more money behind many millions that I have already put into building the core lab and the facilities that we have and buying scientific equipment.”
UNC Schools and Duke Universities are involved in the research done there on foods and nutrition, as well as NC State. UNC system president Tom Ross says the campus is also an economic development driver.
“When you start with a big, bold, David Murdock sized vision, and when education, government and the private sector collaborate and partner to bring that vision to life, our entire state and people stand to benefit.”
Duke Health System president Victor Dzau says this shows a different type of teamwork.
“It’s our job to navigate the future with a new excitement and sense of urgency. Duke and UNC may be arch rivals on the basketball court, but we will play well together.”
Murdock has pumped $600 million into the biotechnology hub and the David H. Murdock Research Institute based there. Scientists are looking for new cancer treatments and preventions based on natural compounds and healthier varieties of fruits and vegetables. In the past couple of years the Kannapolis center has received major grants on hybridizing a healthier broccoli, and blueberries.