OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center opens dedicated lab space for hands-on science experience among students of all ages

03/27/12  Portland, Ore.

The Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health & Science University now has a new home for its popular science education programs. The center's new educational lab – designed to expand students' experiences with real-world science applications –recently opened its doors to students ages 10 and up.

The ONPRC Learning Lab will serve as a home to established as well as new outreach programs at OHSU's West Campus. OHSU's science education outreach programs, on both its Marquam Hill and West campuses, support and encourage students to choose health and science careers.

"We are incredibly excited to have a dedicated home for our science programs," said Diana Gordon, the Education Outreach Specialist at OHSU's primate center and a former science teacher herself. "We serve thousands of people each year through our many programs, including tours, apprenticeships, a day camp, and a variety of classes for students of all ages. In fact, the demand for our programs far outpaces our resources. Having a dedicated lab for education helps us to better meet that demand and gives students and adults the opportunity to expand their hands-on experiences in research. We have found that early experiences such as these can influence a student to make science their occupation later in life."

The new classroom lab contains many of the same instruments found in modern health research labs, including:

  • Advanced microscopes
  • Materials for genetic analysis
  • A containment hood for maintaining sterile conditions or working with potentially irritating substances (Note: The learning lab works only with safe materials.)


The ONPRC is a registered research institution, inspected regularly by the United States Department of Agriculture. It operates in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act and has an assurance of regulatory compliance on file with the National Institutes of Health. The ONPRC also participates in the voluntary accreditation program overseen by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC).

About OHSU

Oregon Health & Science University is the state's only health and research university and its only academic health center. As Portland's largest employer, OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support activities not found anywhere else in the state. OHSU serves patients from every corner of the state and is a conduit for learning for more than 4,300 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to each county in the state.