RALEIGH, N.C. — No one knows more about biotechnology in North Carolina than Charles Hamner. And the longtime head of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center likes what he sees in billionaire David Murdock.

In fact, says Hamner, expect to hear news soon that the founder of the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis will be working with the Hamner Institute in RTP on a variety of biotech and nutrition-related projects.

“The Hamner and the Research Campus will be working on a number of joint projects,” Hamner told The Skinny during a recent stop in Raleigh. “They have very specific kinds of research that they are pursuing, as are we. There are a number of high-throughput instruments at the Research Campus that could help us both.”

Hamner now works with the Hamner Institute, which was named in his honor, in RTP. The man who deserves much of the credit for helping create the biotech industry in North Carolina over the past three decades said he is impressed with Murdock. The owner of Dole Foods is building the $1.4 billion campus in Kannapolis where three buildings are now open and researchers from UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, N.C. State, other universities and private-sector firms are exploring ways to improve nutrition and health.

“I’m very impressed with what Mr. Murdock is trying to do,” Hamner said. “He is trying to give something back to the world.”

While the Hamner and the NCRC have yet to strike any official deals, Hamner said he found much common ground with Murdock when the two met at a recent bio-conference. Both are keenly interested in biotechnology, genomics, chemistry and how the mixture could lead to better lives for billions.

“His focus has been on fruits, vegetables and nutrition, and that sets him apart,” Hamner said of Murdock. “Through natural substances and diet, perhaps we can prevent cancer. That would be huge.”

North Carolina’s biotechnology industry employs more than 50,000 people and is one of the linchpins in the state’s economic future. Hamner says he has yet to visit the Kannapolis campus, but believes it “could be” a boon to the biotech sector.