Animal Resources & Research Support


Animal Resources & Research Support (ARRS) is responsible for all aspects of animal care contributing to the welfare of the Oregon National Primate Research Center's animal colonies. This multi- faceted program includes daily husbandry, the provision of veterinary medical care, and the development and implementation of the Nonhuman Primate Behavioral Management Plan, which addresses the psychological needs of our monkeys. ARRS also provides research support services including collaboration with investigators about how to best address the welfare needs of their animal models. ARRS consists of eight functional units: 

  • Administrative Unit
  • Behavioral Services Unit
  • Clinical Medicine Unit
  • Compliance, Education, & Training Unit
  • Operations Unit
  • Pathology Services Unit
  • Resources & Logistics Unit
  • Surgical Services Unit

​​​​​​​ARRS is staffed by approximately 160 dedicated individuals, including 15 Faculty veterinarians, two PhD level nonhuman primate behaviorists, two-three veterinary residents, in addition to veterinary, behavioral and animal care technicians and administrative staff.

The Associate Director for Animal Resources & Research Support (ARRS)  is Dr. Drew Martin, who works closely with the West Campus Attending Veterinarian, Dr. Jeffrey Stanton. As Associate Director, Dr. Martin oversees a team of veterinarians, Ph.D. scientists, and animal care managers and supervisors, who collectively provide experienced and skilled leadership for each of the eight functional units within ARRS. Together, the ARRS leadership team delivers effective and efficient management for the animal care program and provides a knowledgeable cadre of technical, husbandry and behavioral personnel for research support services. 

Grooming of an adult Rhesus Macaque

The Behavioral Services Unit (BSU) at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) is devoted to the psychological well-being of our nonhuman primates (NHPs).  The primary goal of the unit is to provide conditions that afford the NHPs opportunities to express species-typical behaviors (such as grooming and foraging), thereby improving their welfare.  The BSU collaborates with husbandry, veterinary and scientific staff to implement the ONPRC Nonhuman Primate Behavioral Management Plan, which provides for the social and behavioral needs of our monkeys.

Social housing

NHPs are social animals that form complex relationships in their natural habitats.  Therefore, providing them with social opportunities is one of the best ways to promote their psychological well-being.  The vast majority of the NHP population at ONPRC lives in large outdoor or indoor/outdoor groups; the remaining animals primarily live indoors in small groups or paired housing.  Whenever possible, we pair house indoor maintained NHPs; i.e., keep two monkeys in two cages to which both members have complete access.  Providing and maintaining social housing for our NHPs is a top priority of BSU.

Environmental enrichment

Environmental enrichment refers to the objects and stimuli we provide animals in an effort to promote optimum psychological wellbeing. Enrichment strives to functionally simulate, in captivity, the most relevant aspects of the species’ natural environment and increase opportunities for expression of species-typical behaviors such as foraging and exploration. Monkeys are given enrichment items, such as manipulanda (toys), swings, climbing structures and other items to increase behavioral diversity. These objects are rotated on a regular basis to keep them novel. Our monkeys also receive supplementary food items, including a variety of fruits and vegetables, trail mix, and frozen treats, as well as foraging devices, which they can manipulate to obtain food. During the summer months, monkeys living in groups have access to pools and water enrichment.  Monkeys may also receive cognitive enrichment, including iPad apps and puzzle feeders.  


Another focus of BSU is training. We work with clinical, husbandry, and scientific staff to train NHPs to voluntarily cooperate with procedures necessary for husbandry and research protocols, such as entering a transfer box or receiving an injection. We use positive reinforcement training (e.g., clicker training) in which animals get rewards for performing appropriate behaviors. Such training gives NHPs control over their environment, thereby reducing potential stress associated with the procedures.


The BSU staff at the ONPRC are committed to advancing our knowledge of how to increase the psychological wellbeing of our NHPs. We conduct research studies to examine behavioral management in an attempt to better understand psychological wellbeing issues. The results of these studies are presented at national and international meetings and published in scientific journals.

The Clinical Medicine Unit (CMU) is comprised of veterinarians, certified veterinary technicians, and veterinary research health technicians committed to providing superior clinical and preventive veterinary care for nonhuman primates (NHPs) at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC). The CMU team diagnoses and treats medical conditions and performs preventive care tasks, including annual physical examinations, weight management, and dental care. Our team delivers hundreds of medications daily, tailoring oral formulations according to the individual palates of our NHP patients. In addition, CMU performs a multitude of standard veterinary procedures just as would be done for our companion animals (e.g. x-rays; routine diagnostics such as obtaining blood, fecal, and urinary samples; intravenous fluid administration; and routine dental cleanings).

CMU oversees the health of all animals involved in research projects, which requires extensive communication with the research staff. Veterinarians provide veterinary and technical expertise to the scientists and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) during research protocol development, review, and modification. CMU staff continually seek methods to improve the health and welfare of the animals under their care. CMU staff work closely with the Behavioral Services Unit to ensure that the goals of NHP psychological wellbeing are met, and with ONPRC scientists and research staff to update procedures as new clinical standards of care emerge.

As is required both for maintaining licensure and to keep current with veterinary practice standards, technicians and veterinarians participate in regular continuing education events. Our technical staff are all involved in the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) certification process, attaining gradually higher certification levels as they progress in their careers. All veterinary technicians are professionally trained and certified with licensure from the State of Oregon. This includes participation in presentations at conferences, symposia, and outreach events, as well as publishing journal articles to share our knowledge with others. The veterinary staff provides teaching and mentoring to veterinary and technician students, research and husbandry staff, and many other entities on and off campus, to encourage understanding of research animal care and procedures throughout the biomedical research community. 

The primary goal of the Compliance, Education, & Training Unit (CETU) is to support the Animal Resources & Research Support (ARRS) aims to train and provide continuing education to staff who work with laboratory animals on the OHSU West Campus and to train the next generation of laboratory animal care staff in the care and management of NHPs in biomedical research.

CETU serves as a centralized resource to support ongoing training with documentation for all staff who work with laboratory animals on the OHSU West Campus. The ARRS Training Program Coordinator interfaces with Human Resources, Occupational Health and Safety, and Environmental Health and Safety to provide and document all new staff training. Training may include Nonhuman Primate Biosafety, Nonhuman Primate Well-being, Introduction to Animal Facilities, and any additional hands-on training that may be required based on job duties. In addition, CETU staff provide training in basic animal handling skills required of all staff working with NHPs. They also work with stakeholders to develop training modules tailored to the job duties of animal care workers. In addition, CETU works with the OHSU West Campus Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), OHSU Research Integrity Office, and Principal Investigators to provide oversight and training for research staff who work with laboratory animals. Finally, CETU coordinates with all ARRS Units, research groups, and other stakeholders to develop, implement, review, and revise ARRS Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Guidelines (GLs), and Policies. 

To support the development of future laboratory animal care staff, CETU provides training opportunities and support programs that promotes the professional development of students, ONPRC staff, and postdoctoral veterinarians involved in the care and management of NHPs in the biomedical research setting. For example, CETU promotes the professional development of ONPRC staff by supporting continuing education for staff pursuing certification through the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) Technician Certification Program. In addition, CETU provides educational opportunities focused on the care of NHPs to veterinary students, veterinary technical students, and postdoctoral veterinarians wishing to specialize in laboratory animal medicine through the management of the ONPRC Veterinary Externship Program. In addition, the Head of CETU serves as the Training Program Director for the Oregon State Laboratory Animal Medicine Residency Consortium, a program recognized by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine.   

The Operations (OPS) Unit of Animal Resources & Research Support (ARRS) is responsible for ensuring the daily humane care of the nonhuman primates (NHPs) at the ONPRC. Operations develops and maintains exceptional facilities and performs husbandry and research support procedures in line with industry standard best practices. This Unit also ensures the provision of excellent animal husbandry, outstanding technical expertise, and timely staff training for animal care and research personnel.

OPS is comprised of veterinarians, managers, supervisors, and animal care technicians who demonstrate a strong commitment and dedication to the care and well-being of our animals. ARRS animal care technicians are the foundation of the animal care and research support program at the ONPRC. Membership in professional organizations, such as the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS), is strongly encouraged and supported with the majority of our animal care staff certified at the various levels of AALAS technician certification. 

Some of the responsibilities of the Operations Unit include:

  • Providing daily husbandry, including feeding, enrichment and sanitization of the animals' environment. NHPs are fed a balanced diet, including fruit, vegetables, and forage twice daily.
  • Working closely with the Clinical Medicine Unit to conduct daily health observations on all animals every day.
  • Collaborating with the Behavioral Services Unit to develop and implement the animal enrichment program and to train animals to participate in research and husbandry tasks.
  • Providing research support services (e.g., preparing special diets for monkeys on specific research protocols.)
  • Working with the Compliance, Education, & Training Unit to provide training on proper laboratory animal husbandry and care.
  • Developing and maintaining facilities, equipment, and techniques for housing NHPs that promote their physical and psychological well-being (e.g., designing new cages to promote social housing of animals, expanding enrichment opportunities for indoor-housed animals.)
  • Ensuring that the ONPRC meets and exceeds various local, state and federal regulations and guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals.
  • Developing, reviewing and revising Standard Operating Procedures and Guidelines for animal care and husbandry protocols.

Anatomic and clinical pathology expertise and services are key elements of the Oregon National Primate Research Center’s (ONPRC's) veterinary care program dedicated to the maintenance of self-sustaining populations of healthy, genetically characterized nonhuman primates (NHP) for research. They are also essential for meeting the objectives of our research programs. The Pathology Services Unit (PSU) provides diagnostic and surveillance services that promote the health and safety of ONPRC's animals. PSU also provides research support services that strengthen the research program and contribute directly to the mission of the ONPRC. PSU performs postmortem examinations, clinical pathology and microbiology services and interacts extensively with clinical veterinarians and investigators. PSU administers a nonhuman primate (NHP) Tissue Distribution Program (TDP) to maximize the availability and use of these tissues and minimize the number of NHPs required for research. Databases for normal body and organ weights are maintained to advance research with NHPs, and pathology databases of spontaneous diseases are maintained to facilitate identification and characterization of NHP conditions potentially useful as animal models for biomedical research. Specialized training in NHP anatomic pathology is provided to students, fellows, and visiting scientists.  

Tissue Distribution Program

The Tissue Distribution Program is administered through PSU. Tissues from NHPs are collected prospectively and according to the recipient's protocol. Tissues can be shipped overnight or frozen at -80oC to be shipped at a later date. 

For more information visit the Tissue Distribution Program website 

The Resources & Logistics (R&L) Unit of Animal Resources & Research Support (ARRS) is responsible for the management and health of nonhuman primate (NHP) breeding colonies, as well as oversight of short and long term NHP housing, space utilization, and planning.

R&L is comprised of veterinarians, laboratory professionals, and administrative professionals who demonstrate a strong commitment to the care and well-being of our animals, thereby enhancing biomedical research integrity. We coordinate across all units in ARRS and with the five scientific divisions at the Oregon National Primate Research Center.

Our three primary focus areas are Colony Management, Colony Health, and Research Facilitation.

  • Colony management integrates animal health and disease surveillance, breeding, and genetic programs to appropriately manage our breeding colonies. We also project NHP colony growth and future research needs to ensure resources are available to investigators on a local, regional, and national basis.
  • Colony health ensures the production and maintenance of physically and psychologically healthy animals by coordinating preventative and clinical care of all animals in the breeding colonies, as well as disease surveillance for all NHPs through our onsite SPF surveillance laboratory.
  • Research facilitation supports optimal NHP biomedical research by providing data and resources to investigators during all stages of research; from grant submission, to selection and assignment of ideal NHP research participants, to placing NHPs in optimal housing locations, to providing electronic health record database entry and assistance, R&L serves and supports the ONPRC research mission from planning to completion.

The Surgical Services Unit (SSU) provides comprehensive surgical support for Oregon National Primate Research Center research programs and clinical medicine needs. SSU is comprised of veterinarians and certified veterinary technicians who have extensive surgical experience. SSU responsibilities include pre-operative patient assessment and preparation, multimodal analgesia administration, anesthesia delivery, physiological monitoring, performing precise and consistent surgical procedures, patient anesthetic recovery, and complete post-operative care.  SSU makes special efforts to conduct procedures using the least invasive means possible and continuously refines procedures with this goal in mind. To accomplish this, SSU utilizes state-of-the-art endoscopic and laparoscopic techniques as well as ultrasound, computed tomography, fluoroscopy, positron emission tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging.  SSU staff members share ARRS's common goal of promoting the optimum health and wellbeing of all research animals at the Center. SSU's mission is to provide compassionate care for animal patients while assuring scientific integrity for our research partners. As leaders in their field, SSU staff are heavily involved in teaching and mentoring veterinary residents, veterinary students, veterinary technician students, research staff, and many other U.S. and international entities.