The Nonhuman Primate Core provides highly integrated clinical management and laboratory investigations using the non-human primate model of AIDS to CFAR investigators.
The Core, located at the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC) in Covington, LA, builds on the resources and mission of the TNPRC, which is, in part, to serve as a national resource and center of excellence for biomedical research using non-human primates. Thus, the Center has extensive experience facilitating the interaction of investigators at other institutions with the resources of the center. This includes a variety of centralized services as well as fully equipped laboratory space available to visiting investigators.
The Core acquires, houses, and cares for macaques used by CFAR members and is responsible for regulatory compliance and the daily clinical care of animals and animal procedures such as immunizations, treatments, collection of body fluids (blood, cerebrospinal fluid, saliva, etc.), bronchoalveolar lavage, endoscopies, surgery, biopsies, and real-time telemetry and video monitoring.
The laboratory component of the Core performs hematology, clinical chemistry, ova and parasite examination of feces, microbiology, and pathologic examination of all necropsies and biopsies performed on animals utilized in these studies. The Core also provides viral stocks, viral isolation, and advanced immunology procedures and services, including polychromatic flow cytometry, molecular pathology (PCR, RT-PCR, in situ hybridization) and multicolor fluorescent confocal microscopy and image analysis. The TNPRC has state of the art imaging and analysis equipment, including digital slide scanners, fluorescent and confocal microscopes, high-speed cell sorters, and PCR machines.
In addition to its mission of service to the Penn CFAR, the NHP Core also serves to stimulate the translation of bench-based findings into animal experimentation, a necessary key step prior to application of any results to humans. One major tool in this effort is a pilot research program using non-human primates offered in conjunction with the Developmental Core. The Call for Proposals for the Nonhuman Pilot Research Program is usually offered once a year. The pilot program is open to all Penn CFAR investigators at Penn, CHOP, and Wistar.