Southwestern National Center for Primate Research in

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SAN ANTONIO (June 15, 2021) – The Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute (Texas Biomed) has received more than $37 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue operations through 2026 The P51 grant, awarded by the NIH Office of Research Infrastructure Programs, provides critical funding to house and care for nearly 2,500 nonhuman primates that are part of the life science research programs of Texas Biomed and partners in the whole world.

“Non-human primates play a vital role in preclinical research, including recently helping to show that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine would be safe and effective for humans, accelerating clinical trials,” said the director of Southwest National. Primate Research Center (SNPRC) Deepak Kaushal, Ph.D. highest standards of animal care.”

The SNPRC is one of seven National Centers for Primate Research in the United States, all of which are supported by the NIH’s Office of the Director of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) through P51 grants. This is the fifth grant renewal for the SNPRC, which was established in 1999 when it joined the National Consortia. Located on the more than 200-acre Texas Biomed campus, researchers have worked with nonhuman primates at Texas Biomed since the 1950s. Today, the SNPRC is home to approximately 2,500 nonhuman primates, including disease-free rhesus macaques. specific pathogens, the largest colony of baboons in the country, and the largest population of geriatric marmosets, all essential models for biomedical research.

The NPRC program celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and will provide outreach and education materials throughout the year highlighting the dedication of NPRC teams nationwide and the outstanding basic science that has driven medical advances that have changed lives, such as the high-frequency neonatal ventilator, diabetes and high blood pressure medications, hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis C treatments, the new Ebola vaccine and much more. The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for the discovery of hepatitis C, in part through the use of non-human primates at the SNPRC.

As part of the grant renewal process, the Center undergoes rigorous review by NIH officials and external scientific experts to ensure high standards are met and to identify opportunities for improvement. Since the 2015 review, the Center has restructured its management team, including bringing in Dr. Kaushal; expanded its team of veterinarians, technicians, animal caretakers and scientists; and additional expertise and equipment in bioinformatics, genomics, single cell sequencing and imaging. The Center has also increased its collaboration with research partners in the United States and abroad, while clearly defining its own research priorities such as immunology and infectious disease control, and comparative medicine and the results of health.

“The changes made over the past five years meant that when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were already very well positioned with the SNPRC, our high biocontainment laboratories and experienced scientists and staff, to provide essential resources for rapid testing of COVID-19 vaccines,” said Larry Schlesinger, MD, President and CEO of Texas Biomed, the SNPRC’s host institution. “This would not have been possible without the SNPRC and the continued support of the NIH.”

The Center and its staff look forward to continuing the important mission of supporting research into a wide range of diseases, from Alzheimer’s disease to the Zika virus, and raising awareness of the vital role non-human primates play in helping people. around the world to live longer, healthier lives.

The Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health awards the P51 grant under award number P51OD011133.

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About the Texas Biomed Southwest National Primate Research Center

Texas Biomed is one of the world’s leading independent biomedical research institutions dedicated to advancing global health through innovative biomedical research focused on protecting the global community from infectious disease threats. The Institute houses the South West National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) and provides extensive primate research services. The SNPRC contributes to a national network of National Primate Research Centers (NPRCs) with specialized primate technologies, capabilities and resources, many of which are unique to the SNPRC. The Center also offers researchers around the world research and technical procedures for collaborative projects. For more information about Texas Biomed, go to http://www.TxBiomed.org or for more information about SNPRC, visit http://www.SNPRC.org.


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