Research activities at the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) contribute to the understanding of the underpinnings of chronic disease from the earliest developmental stages through maturation and aging, using new biomarkers and novel in vivo imaging tools.  Translational teams of scientists represent a variety of disciplines and typically hold joint appointments in Schools (e.g., Medicine and Veterinary Medicine) and Colleges (e.g., Engineering, Letters and Science) throughout UC Davis.

The CNPRC is comprised of four research units with Core and Affiliate scientists that focus on specific areas of human and animal health.  Innovative health research and investigational new drug (IND)-enabling investigations happen within each unit and across units, as research staff and scientists collaborate to study the effects of aging, specific health conditions and biobehavioral factors on individual primates.  The breadth and depth of scientific expertise combined with the diverse colony of primates housed at the CNPRC allow an unprecedented study of health across the lifespan.

Infectious Disease

Scientists in the Infectious Disease unit conduct preclinical/translational studies on a wide range of viral and bacterial pathogens (e.g., SARS-CoV-2, SIV, CMV, Zika virus, H. pylori), vaccine and drug interventions, and mechanisms of host-microbe interactions. Lifespan-related research is conducted through studies that focus on the impact of age on infection, pathogenesis, and vaccine efficacy. Research from this unit is also contributing to the management and health of nonhuman primates through infectious disease diagnostics.

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Neuroscience and Behavior 

Scientists in the Neuroscience and Behavior unit specialize in research on sociality, affective processes, cognition, neurobiology and behavior, utilizing a true lifespan approach by studying animals from the prenatal through aged phases of life. Research in this unit is translational by nature, with the development of many new primate models of human disorders, and with an important focus on the influence of social life on physical and mental health.

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Reproductive Sciences and Regenerative Medicine 

Scientists in the Reproductive Sciences and Regenerative Medicine unit study fetal models of congenital and acquired diseases. They conduct research on gamete biology and reproductive toxicology, and have unique strengths in gene- and cell-based therapy with a particular focus on the fetus and infant. This unit has a long-standing commitment to the development and application of novel in vivo imaging technologies and tools including ultrasound, optical imaging, and positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT). Collaborative lifespan studies have focused on healthy aging, the menopausal transition, and the impact of environmental agents on reproduction.

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Cardiorespiratory Diseases Research

Scientists in the Cardiorespiratory Diseases Research unit study airway development and remodeling, age-related impact of environmental exposure and lung immunity. Examples include asthma, wildfire smoke, environmental tobacco smoke, influenza and COPD. Each Core Scientist in this unit contributes a unique area of expertise in pulmonary research from toxicology and neurophysiology to immunology and airway remodeling. A major emphasis of this unit is pediatric models of lung disease with an overall goal of understanding how early life environments impact health outcomes with maturity.

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CNPRC Scientist 

Members of our scientific staff represent a variety of disciplines, including: cell and developmental biology, genetics, psychology, physiology, reproductive biology, virology, and immunology.  Collaborative investigators work with our Core and Affiliate scientists to conduct specific research projects in their area of interest, benefiting from the extensive expertise of this world renowned group.

CNPRC Publications 

Core and Affiliate scientists conducting research at the CNPRC have published a wide variety of papers based on their unique and cutting edge studies.  These publications offer a great example of the many ways basic scientific knowledge gleaned from primate research can drive innovation in human and animal health.

Pilot Research Program 

The Pilot Research Program provides resources and facilities for primate research to Principal Investigators who are not CNPRC Core Scientists, including expertise in all facets of the on-site portion of primate research. This program serves as a resource to the entire biomedical research community, including regional, national and international researchers.