This core serves as a national resource for the long-term care and study of animals after irradiation, since 2007. 

Because of the high degree of genetic and physiologic similarity of nonhuman primates to human beings, this resource is a critical component of translational long-term assessment of candidate radiation mitigators, in an experimental setting under which relevant doses of whole-body irradiation and partial body irradiation with 5% bone marrow sparing can be studied in otherwise healthy subjects.

A NIAID national resource to study late effects of acute irradiation 

  • Donated rhesus monkeys (~200 live animals cared for on-site as well as archived tissues from ~100 deceased animals) 
  • Total body radiation doses of 1.1 – 8.5 Gy (median 6.5 Gy)
  • Partial body radiation doses 10-10.75 Gy (PBI 5% bone marrow sparing) 
  • 0.3 – 14.4 years post irradiation (median 5.6 years)
  • 2:1 Male:Female ratio
  • ~ 40% were part of mitigator studies prior to joining the cohort

Multidisciplinary approach

  • Clinical daily observations, clinical pathology
  • Imaging (MRI, CT, DEXA)
  • Immune (lymphocyte phenotyping, vaccination responses)
  • Pathology
  • Sequencing

Multiple co-morbidities

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Immune “blind spots”
  • Chronic systemic inflammation
  • Neoplasms
  • Brain injury/cognitive decline
  • Cataracts
  • Gonadal atrophy
  • Lung injury
  • Osteopenia
  • Gastrointestinal disease

Core investigators have unique skills in the experimental use and clinical medicine of nonhuman primates including:

  • Veterinary medical care and management of myelosuppressed animals
  • Comparative pathology of primates
  • Pathology of radiation injury
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical pathology and endocrinology of primates
  • Adaptation of molecular biologic techniques to the primate model
  • Microbiome sequencing and analysis

Core capabilities include:

  • Acquisition long term care of nonhuman primates
  • Minimally invasive studies (vaccination, blood collection, biopsy)
  • Exposure of animals to radiation
  • Administration of therapeutic interventions
  • Clinical and pathologic assessments of treatment outcomes, including necropsy/tissue collection and sharing for characterization of long term radiation responses and assessment of mitigating interventions.
  • Sharing of data and samples (CBC/Chem data, imaging data [CT, MRI, DEXA] and fluid and tissue samples). 

The Core also provides extensive data management services for primate studies, including data and tissue sharing through our Core samples request form.