Penn Center for AIDS Research

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Nonhuman Primate Core

Ronald Veazey, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Ronald Veazey, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Director, Nonhuman Primate Core


James A. Hoxie, M.D.

James A. Hoxie, M.D.
Co-Director, 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

We are currently accepting applications to the FY22 Non-Human Primate Core Pilot Program. A complete overview and the required forms can be found HERE.

The purpose of this Pilot Grant Program is to enable investigators from Penn, CHOP, and Wistar to carry out nonhuman primates for pilot studies of AIDS. The Penn CFAR’s Nonhuman Primate (NHP) Core based at the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC) provides animals (typically rhesus macaques) and logistical/scientific support for these studies. The goal of this program is to enable investigators to acquire sufficient data that can be applied for future external funding. 

Funds are available for the procurement and care of 8 non-human primates a year (up to 4 animals per project), and to provide support for 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 may be funded, depending on the number of animals required, the length of the project, and receipt of competitive applications. 

In addition, we also solicit projects that do not require dedicated animals but could make use of archived samples of various tissue samples and body fluids from SIV/SHIV infected animals or controls.  

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.

Investigators from Penn, CHOP, and Wistar are eligible for this Pilot Program. Junior investigators and HIV/AIDS investigators with no previous experience using the non-human model are particularly encouraged to apply.

It is required that all applicants contact Jim Hoxie, Core H Co-Director as early as possible to discuss potential studies, study design, and availability of animals (

Although applications in all areas of HIV/AIDS research are eligible, areas of particular interest include those related to SIV and SHIV pathogenesis, SIV or SHIV reservoirs, models for viral eradication and functional cure, vaccines, comorbidities, and addictions research.

No budget page is required as the award is for procurement/use of animals at TNPRC. There are no funds available for salary support, and laboratory studies performed at Penn/CHOP/Wistar will be the responsibility of the investigator.

A complete overview and the required forms can be found HERE. No budget page is required as the award is for procurement/use of animals at TNPRC. 

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.



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