WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest University Health Sciences has changed the name of its Comparative Medicine Clinical Research Center (Friedberg Campus) to Wake Forest University Primate Center. This new name more accurately reflects the general animal population, research resources and focuses of the center.
The Primate Center uses nonhuman primates (monkeys) as clinical surrogates for humans in the investigation of human health and disease. Research projects at the center are generated by basic science in the lab and studies that have progressed from other animal models. Nonhuman primate research also serves to test hypotheses made by physicians as a result of observing and treating human patients.
The Primate Center houses about 750 monkeys of several varieties, as well as other animals used in research. Research at the center includes studies of women’s health and cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, uterine cancer, drug addiction, depression, diabetes, and diet and nutrition. Major discoveries involving nonhuman primates include specific ways that drugs of abuse affect the brain, the fact that stress can encourage atherosclerosis, and the detrimental affects of trans fats in the diet.
“The faculty and staff of the Primate Center are involved in their own research studies, and the center is also available for other faculty and even outside investigators,” said Jay R. Kaplan, Ph.D., director of the Primate Center.
The Primate Center will also be part of Wake Forest University's new Translational Science Institute, a program that will support and encourage the movement of research “from bench to bedside.”
The four assistant directors of the Primate Center are Peter Pierre, Ph.D., extramural collaboration and interaction, Carol A. Shively, Ph.D., diversity, Allyson Bennett, Ph.D., community outreach and education, and Michael R. Adams, D.V.M., research training.
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Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,238 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.