SAN ANTONIO (August 4, 2016) - The Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) at Texas Biomedical Research Institute (Texas Biomed) was awarded more than $40 million for a National Institutes of Health P51 grant through 2021 to continue research programs using nonhuman primates (NHP) as part of the National Primate Research Center (NPRC) consortia. This five-year grant from the NIH's Office of Research Infrastructure Programs is the fourth renewal of the Center grant that provides funds to SNPRC to continue operation of its facility with nearly 3,000 nonhuman primates and continue its research in aging, regenerative medicine, experimental physiology and genomics and infectious diseases.
The NPRCs advance human health through a network of unique institutions that provide animals, expertise, and specialized facilities and equipment to scientists conducting research with nonhuman primates. Each of the seven NPRCs must reapply regularly to receive support through a P51 grant, and SNPRC reapplied last year. The Center underwent a thorough review of its application and a 35-person site visit of outside scientists and NIH officials before receiving this most recent award.
"We are excited to have received a continuation of the commitment from NIH to support SNPRC and the lifesaving work we do," said Dr. Robert Gracy, President and CEO of Texas Biomed.
Scientist and Director of SNPRC Dr. Robert Lanford added, "We aim to improve people's lives through innovative research, and the SNPRC provides critical resources and expertise to scientists around the world looking for treatments and cures to diseases."
The NIH grant enables the SNPRC to continue maintaining healthy and highly characterized breeding and research colonies of NHP species, making them available to the global scientific community looking to answer critical questions in disease research.
Research programs at SNPRC focus on marmosets, rhesus macaques, and baboons. The SNPRC team, which includes scientists, veterinarians, animal behaviorists, laboratory animal welfare staff and animal caretakers among many others, will also continue to improve infrastructure for NHPs at Texas Biomed.
"Our team is delighted to receive this grant support from NIH, as we strive to maintain our reputation of excellence in the care of nonhuman primates in research," said Dr. John Bernal, Associate Director of Veterinary Resources and Research Support. "Our goal is to provide the best environment possible for animals in research, and this support will allow us to continue to improve our facilities and the training of our team."
SNPRC was established in 1999 as part of the NPRC consortia but has been working with nonhuman primates in research since the late 1950s.
"While some specific research questions may be adequately addressed using other scientific methods of study such as cell cultures or computer models, research with animals continues to be critical for the advancement of human health," Lanford said. "During the past century, most major medical advancements and treatments involved research using animal models, and these models are still very much needed as we continue to learn more about how to treat and one-day cure diseases like Diabetes, Ebola virus, Heart disease, Hepatitis, HIV, Malaria, Parkinson's and so much more."
The Southwest National Primate Research Center grant P51 OD011133 is from the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs, National Institutes of Health.
Texas Biomed, formerly the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, is one of the world's leading independent biomedical research institutions dedicated to advancing health worldwide through innovative biomedical research. The Institute is home to the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) and provides broad services in primate research. SNPRC contributes to a national network of National Primate Research Centers (NPRCs) with specialized technologies, capabilities and primate resources, many of which are unique to the SNPRC. The Center also serves investigators around the globe with research and technical procedures for collaborative projects. For more information on Texas Biomed, go to http://www.