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Oregon National Primate Research Center Tour Scheduled for 2019 AMC

Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Did you know primates and humans share nearly 98 percent of their DNA? At ARCS 2019 All Members Conference (AMC), ARCS members will visit the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC), affiliated with the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), to see firsthand how these shared traits not only provide a look into humanity’s past, but shed light on its medicinal future.

“ONPRC is on the cutting edge of new frontiers in neuroscience, gene therapy, and vaccine development and testing,” said Nancy Haigwood, Ph.D., director of ONPRC, and a member of ARCS Oregon Chapter.

AMC attendees will explore one of the seven federally funded National Primate Research Centers in the United States, getting an inside look at how biomedical research becomes evidence-based cures, treatments, and preventions. ONPRC uses nonhuman primate models to study the similar gene traits shared between other primates and humans. Similarities in areas like body composition, maturation, and reproductive processes can be used to develop new treatment methods and cures to leading diseases such as AIDS, lung disease, and cancer.

“We make every effort to introduce visitors to who we are: biomedical researchers, veterinarians, and animal care workers, and what we do: develop solutions for health issues by studying nonhuman primate models,” Haigwood said.

Attendees will take a docent-led tour of the facility’s corrals to observe rhesus monkey and Japanese macaque primate breeding colonies. An interactive presentation and panel discussion will focus on the research benefits of the Center and the people that make this groundbreaking work possible. The panel will include Larry Sherman, Ph.D., ONPRC neuroscientist; Gail Stonebarger, ARCS Scholar and neuroscience graduate student at OHSU; and Gregory Timmel, D.V.M, ONPRC’s head veterinarian.

“During this panel, scientists from different areas of research, as well as different stages of their career, will talk about how we became involved in science, particularly primate research, what our day to day life is like, and other aspects of working at the primate center,” Gail Stonebarger said.

For more information on how you can be a part of this exciting experience at ARCS 2019 AMC click here.