The California National Primate Research Center’s Role in the Fight Against COVID-19
Halting COVID-19 is the world’s most urgent priority right now. The California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) plays a pivotal role in these efforts—from partnering with UC Davis Health and the UC Davis Center for Immunology and Infectious Disease (CIID) to develop a successful diagnostic test that has significantly boosted California’s testing capacity, to working with the CIID on potentially game-changing therapeutic testing and vaccine development research underway.
Given the many close parallels between human and non-human primate (NHP) physiology, including similar respiratory systems and immune-aging patterns, NHP research is a critical translational model for understanding how COVID-19 develops and spreads—and one of our best hopes for the timely development of therapeutics, vaccines and potential cures. The CNPRC has the nation’s best-characterized population of older primates—a vital advantage in better understanding how age affects the course of COVID-19 and in predicting how the virus may impact vulnerable older adults with long-term conditions like hypertension and Type-2 diabetes.
The CNPRC, collaborating with world-leading scientists and clinicians across UC Davis and around the globe, has the potential to transform how we understand, treat and prevent COVID-19 and future coronavirus outbreaks. Work at the CNPRC is key to rapid progress in fighting COVID-19—and it will be equally critical in mounting effective responses to new viral pandemics that will inevitably emerge in the future.