Billionaire gives $50M to NC life sciences center

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — The 90-year-old head of Dole Food Company Inc. is creating 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. The billionaire, who Forbes magazine estimates is worth about $2.4 billion, was joined by the president of the Duke University Health System and University of North Carolina system president Tom Ross.

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.

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