The European Marmoset Research Group (EMRG), a non-profit organisation, was established in 1994 to facilitate inter-disciplinary communication between institutions - academic and industrial - conducting biological and/or biomedical research with primates. A major goal of the EMRG is to optimise the use of marmosets and tamarins as subjects in a wide range of life science disciplines. The EMRG has published a Handbook of Marmosets and Tamarins in Biological and Biomedical Research (1997), produces a biannual newsletter, and organises annual workshops. The EuroConferences proposed for 2000 and 2002 will bring together expert scientists, veterinarians and technical personnel, on the one hand, and emerging doctoral and postdoctoral scientists, on the other hand, in eight disciplines in the life sciences: behavioural neuroscience, genetics, immunology, laboratory technology/management, pharmacology, reproduction, toxicology, wildlife biology.
A tried and tested approach based upon integrative biology will ensure effective cross-disciplinary exchange and will encompass in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo techniques which will facilitate the study of marmosets/tamarins from the molecular level to whole animal studies. Within each discipline, input from experts working with marmosets/tamarins will be considered alongside that from experts working with rodent or Old World primate species. Lecture sessions will include reviews of the merits and limitations of marmosets/tamarins relative to other species, and specific presentations of the very latest empirical findings and methodological advances. In round-table discussions, the interfaces between pertinent combinations of disciplines will be discussed, e.g. behavioural neuroscience and immunology, non-invasive physiological monitoring and toxicology. The EuroConferences will enhance links between European laboratories and consolidate relationships with non-European laboratories also. These EuroConferences will reinforce Europe's position at the centre of academic-industrial expertise for biomedical research based on New World primate models.