Nonhuman Primate Core
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.
Nonhuman Primate Pilot Grant Program
The purpose of this Pilot Grant Program is to (a) create opportunities for investigators from Penn, CHOP, and Wistar to utilize nonhuman primates for studies of AIDS, (b) provide a pathway for the rapid generation of preliminary data from innovative NHP-based studies to enable larger-scale investigations, and (c) catalyze collaborations between AIDS investigators of the Penn CFAR and nonhuman primate researchers at the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC). The Penn CFAR’s Nonhuman Primate Core, based at the TNPRC, provides NHP expertise and consultation in study design, animals (typically rhesus macaques) and full research support services for these studies. The goal of this program is to enable investigators to acquire sufficient data that can be applied for future external funding.
NHP Pilot Project Program. Funds are available for the procurement and care of animals and procedures related to the mission of the Penn CFAR, particularly HIV treatment, co-morbidities, viral reservoirs, and cure strategies. The TNPRC has several investigators with expertise in HIV treatment and cure research that collaborate with Penn scientists. Support is provided for a comprehensive range of animal laboratory studies, including collection of body fluids, biopsies, surgeries, necropsies and basic laboratory studies for simian (SIV) or simian/human (SHIV) immunodeficiency virus research. From 1 to 3 projects per year will be funded, depending on the number of animals requested, the length of the project, and receipt of competitive applications.
Investigators from Penn, CHOP, and Wistar are eligible for this Pilot Program. Junior investigators and HIV/AIDS investigators with no previous experience using the nonhuman primate model are particularly encouraged to apply. All areas of HIV/AIDS research are eligible, including those related to HIV/SIV/SHIV pathogenesis, viral reservoirs, models for viral eradication and functional cure, vaccines, and behavioral research. Project goals should be concordant with NIH priorities for HIV/AIDS research.
All applicants interested in the NHP Pilot Project program must contact the Core Director, Dr. Ron Veazey of the Tulane National Primate Research Center, or Co-Director Dr. James Hoxie as early as possible to discuss potential studies, study design, and availability of animals. No budget page is required as the award is for procurement, care and use of animals at TNPRC, although feasibility of the proposed work must be established in consultation and discussion with the NHP Core. Laboratory studies performed at Penn/CHOP/Wistar will be the responsibility of the investigator, and NHP Pilot Project funds cannot be used for salary support.
Beginning in 2019, the NHP Core will maintain cohorts of SIV and SHIV infected animals on antiretroviral therapy that may be provided to researchers for rapid implementation of HIV treatment and cure strategies. A request for applications (RFA) will be offered and posted on this website. For further information, please contact Dr. Ron Veazey or Dr. Jim Hoxie.
Tissue Bank and other services. In addition to NHP Pilot Projects, tissue banks from normal and SIV infected animals are also available and provided to investigators at minimal expense. Core H also serves as a consultative resource for Penn CFAR investigators in the design of all types of NHP studies, and as a collaborative partner in grant submission and project implementation of NHP studies apart from the Pilot Project program.