The 200-acre Clarkson Campus currently houses approximately 1,000 nonhuman primates and other animal species and has the capacity to house up to 1,500 animals.
Most of the animals on active research protocols are housed socially to European standards, where they can interact with each other in a natural-like environment.
Vervet Research Colony (VRC)
The Vervet Research Colony (VRC) is an NIH-supported national biomedical research resource (P40-OD010965) with the mandate to provide the research community with access to pedigreed, genomically-sequenced, pathogen-free Caribbean-origin vervet/African green monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus). The VRC supports investigators by providing access to animals, extensive multisystem clinical phenotyping, sample and data repositories and expertise in the use of nonhuman primate models for translational studies. The colony also serves as a platform for training veterinarians and other professionals in biomedical research, husbandry, clinical care and the management of animal resources. All of the animals in the colony are mother-reared in species-typical social groups.
When available, the Wake Forest Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Primate Signature Program supports the VRC and provides funds, expertise and infrastructure for feasibility studies that advance the Clinical and Translational Science Award network’s translational research. Each year the program provides funds for feasibility studies to assist new nonhuman primate (NHP) researchers and investigators without direct access to NHPs in exploring ideas using the vervet colony. Awarded studies are conducted at Wake Forest with significant technical and faculty support with no requirement for awardees to be on-site during the study.
Examples of past studies have included the assessment of:
- Safer infant anesthesia
- Novel PET imaging tracers
- Immune response of vervets to a native HIV envelope protein
- Therapeutic compound in lowering intraocular pressure
- Neonatal microbiome and its influence on health and disease
- Impact of diet and eating pattern on markers of diseases of aging
Humane Care and Treatment of Animals in Research
The Clarkson Campus is subject to strict oversight by the institution's Animal Care and Use Committee, which monitors all use of animals for research. In addition, campus faculty investigators work closely with the Animal Resources Program staff.
To learn more about ethical issues regarding animal research and care of laboratory animals in general, please visit:
- Alternatives to Animal Testing
- American Society of Primatologists
- Americans for Medical Progress
- Foundation for Biomedical Research
- National Association for Biomedical Research
- Speaking of Research
Facilities and Resources
The Clarkson Campus is home to many state-of-the-art laboratories and other facilities and is available to support primate-related research throughout the institution. These facilities include:
- Animal Radiology Suite
- Clinical Pathology Laboratory
- Diagnostic and Experimental Necropsy Laboratory
- Diet Preparation Laboratory (PDF)
- Mobile Imaging Platform
- Molecular Biology Laboratories
- Nursery Suite
- Surgery Facilities