Informatics Research Seminar: The MURDOCK study: scientifically meaningful use of EHR data

August 29 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm



Speakers: Jessica Tenenbaum, PhD & Douglas Wixted, MMCI)
Presented from Duke University

Broadcast Link: Seminar



The MURDOCK Study is a long-term epidemiological study to reclassify disease at the molecular level, thereby allowing more informed disease prevention and treatment strategies for individuals and groups with similar biocharacteristics.  The foundation of the study design is a Community Registry and Biorepository (the “Registry”) of 50,000 planned participants in Cabarrus County and Kannapolis, NC.  Enrolling participants provide blood and urine samples and completed a questionnaire soliciting general demographics, personal and family medical history, health status, and lifestyle information.  Longitudinal data are obtained through annual follow-up and consented access to electronic health records (EHRs).  Enrollment was initiated in 2009, and as of August 2012 the Study has enrolled more than 8,000 participants.

We will describe the Registry and give an overview of the enrolled population based on collected data.  We will also describe prospective biomarker studies that are leveraging this optimized resource of processed samples and rich data for translational research, and the informatics infrastructure that bridges the different facets of the Study.  Lastly, we will describe ongoing efforts to partner with Cabarrus County health care providers to access participants’ EHRs, and a pilot study designed to inform longitudinal EHR data integration and validate self-reported clinical data.


Dr. Tenenbaum is the Associate Director for Bioinformatics for the DTMI Biomedical Informatics Core (BIC). Her research focuses on infrastructure and standards to enable research collaboration and integrative data analysis. Other research interests include genomics, biomarkers, personalized medicine, systems biology, and computer-human interaction.

Along with coordinating informatics activities related to the MURDOCK Study, the BIC, and the informatics community around Duke, Dr. Tenenbaum is also the Principal Investigator for the MURDOCK Integrated Data Repository (MIDR), a standards-compliant integrated data repository for clinical, omic, biobanking, and consent data as well as experimental and protocol metadata. She also contributes bioinformatics area expertise to the development of strategic partnerships for both the DTMI and the Biomarker Factory.

At the national level, Dr. Tenenbaum is an active member of the CTSA Consortium. She served a two-year term as an elected member of the CTSA Informatics KFC Operations Committee, is founder and chair of the CTSA Omics Data Standards Working Group, and played a leadership role in the development of the Resource Discovery System.  Dr. Tenenbaum is Chair of the  Scientific Program Committee for AMIA’s Summit on Translational Bioinformatics in March, 2013 in San Francisco.


As an Informatics Project Leader at Duke Translational Medicine Institute, Mr. Wixted identifies research and business objectives and develops informatics-based solutions to ensure successful project outcomes.  For the MURDOCK Study, Mr. Wixted is managing and facilitating the integration of medical data from study participants’ electronic health records (EHRs) to enrich and validate the clinical database.  He is also consulting with Duke and MURDOCK collaborators to develop standard practices and ensure that research interests pertaining to study data are maximally aligned.  Mr. Wixted’s research interests are focused on the transformation of clinical research by leveraging existing systems and datasets to gain new insights, increase efficiency, and expedite translational development of new therapies.

Mr. Wixted brings experience from nearly a decade in the biopharmaceutical development industry to DTMI.  Most recently, Mr. Wixted worked as a Clinical Strategy Manager for a biotechnology company developing transdermally-delivered vaccines for infectious diseases.  His clinical research experience is highlighted by a passion for designing quality into trials, with focus on the acquisition of key data and utilization to accurately characterize safety profiles, and highlight complex efficacy outcomes.  Mr. Wixted has also done consulting work in this capacity specializing in data-driven reporting and strategic development planning for investigational therapies.