Oregon National Primate Research Center

Grant Number: P51 OD011092

Research Emphasis/Objectivesrhesus monkeys

The Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) is engaged in a spectrum of studies based in the scientific research divisions of Cardiometabolic Health, Genetics, Neuroscience, Pathobiology and Immunology, and Reproductive and Developmental Sciences. Collaborative research that is initiated by external investigators is managed through the Collaborative Research Unit (CRU).

Current Research

  • Cardiometabolic Health: Diet-induced obesity, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance, adipose and islet biology, cardiovascular disease.
  • Genetics: Complex trait analysis, development of nonhuman primate (NHP) rare disease models, functional analysis of genome sequencing data, genome evolution, epigenetics and single-cell genomics. Research spans the fields of reproductive biology, neuroscience, cardiometabolic health, and pathobiology.
  • Neuroscience: Research on fundamental and integrative mechanisms underlying nervous system dysfunctions and resultant disease states using the major scientific disciplines of neuroendocrinology, neurodevelopment, neurodegeneration, addiction, aging, and primate genetics. Specific technologies are produced and utilized, including novel methods to acquire in vivo imaging data, measure cognitive performance, introduce and assess genetic therapeutics, provide functional neuroanatomical links to behavior, and identify informative phenotypes for genetic analysis of traits.
  • Pathobiology and Immunology: Cellular and molecular events controlling pathogenesis and immune responses of clinically important infectious agents (HIV/SIV, herpes family viruses, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, yellow fever virus, dengue, Chikungunya virus), novel vaccine development, and research in basic primate immunology, immune senescence, and bioterrorism.
  • Reproductive and Developmental Sciences: Regulation of neuroendocrine, gonadal, reproductive tract and gamete function as related to advancing our understanding of reproductive physiology, the diagnosis and treatment of infertility, and the creation of novel contraceptives, as well as defining the genetic and epigenetic parameters necessary for normal growth and development.

Animal Colony and Resources

  • Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), ~4,200
  • Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata), ~350
  • Cynomolgus macaques, ~100
  • Baboons (Papio anubis), relatively few

Specialized Animal Resources

  • Aging Resource (aged rhesus macaque cohort)
  • Infectious Disease Resource
  • Japanese Macaque Resource
  • Obese Resource (rhesus macaque models of diet-induced obesity)
  • Behavioral Sciences Unit
  • Timed Mated Breeding Program
  • Infant Laboratory
  • Animal Biosafety Level 3 (ABSL-3) animal research facilities for rodents and NHPs

Colony care and maintenance are the responsibility of the Division of Comparative Medicine, which includes 17 full-time veterinarians and about 153 support staff.

Services Provided

To Outside Investigators

Tissue specimens, organs, etc., are available from the Pathology Services Tissue Procurement Program. Costs are assumed by the requestor.

To Collaborating Scientists

Scientists wishing to conduct research at the ONPRC must have their projects approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Institutional Biosafety Committee, and Research Advisory Committee (RAC). The RAC does not typically evaluate proposals that undergo formal peer review by national review panels (i.e., NIH, U.S. Department of Defense, etc.). Investigators interested in collaborative work who do not have an existing relationship with an ONPRC investigator should direct enquiries to the CRU, which is headed by the Associate Director for Research (contact information below).

Collaborators have access to ONPRC research support cores and other services, which are listed below. Most services are provided on a fee-for-service basis.

Research Cores

  • Assisted Reproductive Technologies: Procedures related to in vitro fertilization, nuclear transfer, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, culture media, gamete preservation.
  • Biostatistics and Bioinformatics: Custom analyses for RNAseq, MethylSeq, whole-genome sequencing, whole-exome sequencing, variant discovery studies in NHP, mouse, or viral genomes.
  • Endocrine Technologies: Steroid and protein hormone assays, including LC-MS/MS, Luminex, ELISAs, IRMAs, and RIAs; assay development.
  • Flow Cytometry: Flow analysis and sorting.
  • Integrated Pathology. Research histology processing, including tissue embedding and sectioning, slide preparation and scanning, staining, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, etc.; multiple microscopy platforms, including confocal, fluorescent, and laser-capture microscopy and stereology.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging: 3T Siemens magnet with Prisma upgrade, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, MRI training.
  • Molecular Technologies: DNA synthesis and sequencing, cDNA probes, real-time PCR, maintenance of cell lines, media preparation, lentivirus design and preparation.
  • Molecular Virology: Production of viral vectors and/or antigens from adenovirus, adeno-associated virus (AAV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), rhesus rhadinovirus (RRV), simian foamy virus (SFV), simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), and vaccinia (MVA). Viral diagnostic services span the range from tissue processing, extraction of viral DNA and RNA to highly sensitive detection of CMV and SIV viral loads in plasma, tissues, and excretions, virus isolation, co-cultures, and virus antibody serology.
  • Primate Genetics. NHP DNA Bank (managing over 35,000 NHP samples from 11 NHP species), major histocompatibility complex (MHC) allele analysis, macaque ancestry assay and molecular parentage validation.

Additional Services

  • Primate Multimodality Imaging Center: Dedicated 7,700 sq. ft. building for NHP in vivo imaging that operates a wide variety of radiologic imaging systems, protocols, and support services with equipment resources (angiography, ultrasound, CT, radionuclide imaging, and X-ray), tracer development resources, and expertise necessary for guiding the creation and implementation of imaging protocols.
  • Pathology Services Tissue Procurement Program: Necropsies, tissue distribution, consultation.
  • Diagnostic Pathology and Clinical Laboratory Services: Bacteriology, biochemistry, hematology, parasitology, pathology, virology.

Primate Medicine

Preventive medicine and epidemiologic evaluation, surgery, radiology, therapeutics, specialized medical procedures.

Contact Information

Oregon National Primate Research Center
Oregon Health & Science University
505 N.W. 185th Avenue
Beaverton, OR 97006-3499

Principal Investigator

Peter Barr-Gillespie, Ph.D.
Chief Research Officer and Executive Vice President
Oregon Health & Science University
Portland, OR 97239

Additional Contacts

Nancy L. Haigwood, Ph.D.
ONPRC Director
Phone: 503-346-5005

Charles Roberts, Ph.D.
ONPRC Associate Director for Research
Phone: 503-346-5006

National Primate Research Centers

Last updated: 11-11-2021