Clarkson Research Campus/Primate Center
The Clarkson Research Campus is approximately 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 Campus' 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 seven of the ten major causes of death in the United States. We are focused on long-term health interactions of diet, genotype, metabolism, and behavior as applied to the study of chronic disease.
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 55th consecutive year of funding. Starting over 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 including opportunities for graduate study and veterinary specialty training.
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 Campus sponsors a large community outreach program that has brought more than 1,500 visitors – mostly 4th -12th graders and their teachers – to our facility over the last six years.
The primary users of the Campus include the departments of Pathology, Physiology and Pharmacology, Microbiology and Immunology, and Internal Medicine, as well as the Translational Science Institute and the Aging, Alzheimer's, and Cancer Centers.