At the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC), we seek to accelerate scientific discovery, foster innovative research, and develop biomedical technologies that help us understand, promote and improve human health and well being worldwide.
To accomplish this mission, we use nonhuman primate (NHP) models — a crucial element in our research methodology that allows us to uncover the root causes of various disease and disorders, unlock the secrets of the brain, and unleash new methods of diagnostics and treatment at an unprecedented pace.
Importantly, our four-part mission echoes the pillars of OHSU's mission of Research, Teaching, Clinical Care, and Outreach:
- Conduct state-of-the-art research to uncover new cures, vaccines and therapies. Because of the genetic similarity between NHPs and humans, we have the unique ability to create and test disease models that lead us to new discoveries in human health. Through the support of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), we have been able to use NHPs to develop ground-breaking treatments for diseases and conditions such as AIDS, depression, obesity, premature delivery, and cancer.
- Enhance interdisciplinary biomedical research by engaging a broad scientific community. To complement established research divisions in the areas of Neuroscience, Diabetes, Obesity, & Metabolism, Reproductive & Developmental Sciences, and Pathobiology & Immunology, we have established Interdisciplinary Research Programs to enrich our current and future understanding in Biology of Aging, Early Childhood Health and Development, and Primate Genetics research. Our Collaborative Research Unit helps track and coordinate research projects to ensure we investigate the most relevant and cutting-edge technologies and research methods.
- Serve as a model for humane and responsible animal care. Our dedicated team of veterinary and husbandry experts provides unparalleled animal care that meets the highest ethical standards. To ensure we fulfill our commitment of conducting and promoting research with the utmost integrity, we have dedicated the Division of Comparative Medicine to oversee all of our animal care programs. With this approach, we've been able to expand our behavioral enrichment program, create more effective group housing, and improve the overall health and well being of our primates.
- Provide world-class research training and enrichment programs for the future generation of scientific leaders. We believe that part of our progress is due to our participation in a number of educational programs—from the elementary to post-doctorate levels. Our faculty members engage in training grants and other opportunities to educate students and the community. And, in the last nine years, we've hosted tours for thousands of visitors and hundreds of scientists, clinicians, and veterinarians who have gained a greater appreciation of the important role of our National Primate Research Center and its impact on human health.