Wake Forest Primate Center
The Wake Forest Primate Center (WFPC) is located on the Friedberg Campus, nine miles from the main campus of the Wake Forest School of Medicine. The campus has been home to the faculty of the Section on Comparative Medicine since the mid-1960s. The Comparative Medicine faculty have helped pioneer the use of nonhuman primates in biomedical research and comprise both a local and national research resource.
The Center’s primary functions are research, training, and outreach. For fifty years, investigators at the Wake Forest School of Medicine have been using nonhuman primates to advance human health – in doing so our investigators take advantage of the fact that these species share much of the human genome, they are vulnerable to the chronic and degenerative diseases comprising the majority of the human health burden, and their response to therapeutic interventions resembles those observed in people. Investigators at Wake Forest currently use nonhuman primates to study six of the ten major causes of death in the United States.
Our training effort includes programs designed to teach both pre- and postdoctoral veterinarians how to conduct biomedical research. The grant that supports the postdoctoral activity is currently in its 53rd consecutive year of funding. Starting 25 years ago, we also began training veterinarians and other scientists from Bogor Agricultural University in Indonesia and in doing so helped establish the Indonesian Primate Center. Our collaborative Indonesian training program in primate medicine and biology remains active, with numerous PhD students and postdoctoral fellows on-site at any time.
Our outreach program is extensive and serves both scientists and the lay community. Scientific outreach extends to investigators at Wake Forest School of Medicine and across the nation who require expertise, infrastructure, and monkeys to be used in studies that advance human health and well-being. In addition, the Center sponsors a large community outreach program that has brought more than 1,000 visitors – mostly 4th -12th graders and their teachers – to our facility over the last four years.
The primary users of the Primate Center include the departments of Pathology, Physiology and Pharmacology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, Microbiology and Immunology, Internal Medicine, and Cardiology as well as the Translational Science Institute and the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.