Nonhuman primates are indispensable in biomedical research for studies on how individuals can be protected or cured from a variety of diseases that are a burden to mankind. The use of nonhuman primates is essential when studies in humans cannot be performed for ethical reasons and when other animal species or in vitro studies are inapplicable or inappropriate. The BPRC houses self-sustaining colonies of chimpanzees, rhesus macaques and several New World monkey species. These colonies are unique since all animals have been pedigreed based on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) polymorphisms. These MHC gene products play a key role in transplantation immunology since they control the take or rejection of a graft, and also determine the degree of susceptibility to contract certain diseases.
The aim of the proposal is to provide access to a unique resource and its corresponding skills and technologies, namely nonhuman primates as models for human biology and disease. Researchers from academic and industrial laboratories in the EU are invited to submit research proposals which will be reviewed by an independent scientific board and a specially installed ethical committee. The large scale facility will, in this way, contribute to the development, standardization, validation, and introduction of new therapeutic products, vaccination strategies and protocols to prevent or cure human diseases. In addition, guest researchers will be trained at a unique centre of excellence.