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Center on Human Development and Disability

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Core Services
Behavioral Science Core

Brain Imaging Core

Cellular Morphology Core

Genetics Core

Animal Behavior Core

Instrument Development Laboratory Core

Infant Primate Research Laboratory

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Dr. Burbacher Thomas M. Burbacher, Ph.D., Director

Overall Objectives

The Infant Primate Research Laboratory (IPRL) is supported as a Core facility of both the Center on Human Development and Disability (CHDD) and the Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC). For over 30 years, the overall objective of this Core has been to provide a range of technical services, equipment, and facilities to CHDD Research Affiliates using nonhuman primates in research related to children’s health and developmental disabilities. Research projects in past years focused on important topics including fetal alcohol syndrome, pediatric AIDS, and premature birth or low-birth weight. Current projects continue to address important issues such as the developmental consequences of early therapeutic drug exposures, intervention strategies for anoxia at birth, and the prevention of premature delivery related to maternal infection.

Investigators using the IPRL are provided with a broad range of services that meet the technical and scientific needs of their studies and reduce the cost burden of research through the sharing of Core resources. Replication of rearing environments and assessment equipment would be prohibitive, if not impossible, for individual investigators if the IPRL did not exist. The following broad range of services is provided to individual investigators:

(1) Consultation services regarding appropriate research designs, methods, and data analysis techniques are provided to assist investigators who are unfamiliar with the unique characteristics of nonhuman primate research. This helps to ensure that affiliate investigators are provided the critical assistance they need to develop and implement studies with state-of-the-art scientific methods.

(2) Specialized housing and care for normal and medically fragile animals are provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week for studies conducted by affiliate investigators to optimize animal survival and minimize morbidity. This reduces the financial costs to affiliate investigators and increases the number of healthy animals available to the overall primate colony.

(3) Testing equipment, protocols and experienced laboratory personnel are available to Research Affiliates for assessing the development of physical growth as well as sensory, motor, social, and cognitive development in nonhuman primate infants. Many of the assessments are based on test procedures originally developed for use with human infants and have been successfully adapted for infant monkeys. Experienced laboratory personnel provide assistance, training, and on-site supervision to the staff of affiliates conducting research in the IPRL.

(4) Historic and concurrent data are available to affiliate investigators to provide normative data on physical and behavioral milestones in macaque monkey infants. The historic and concurrent data are typically utilized by investigators to develop pilot data for grant proposals. The data also serve as a resource for publications regarding the natural growth and development of laboratory-reared macaque monkeys.

(5) An exciting new Core service to provide macaque embryonic stem cells is available to investigators. Several investigators interested in working with embryonic stem cells from macaques for testing pre-clinical transplantation models have already received cells from the core.

For more information about our services visit our IPRL website.

To Use Our Services

Investigators who are interested in using infant primates in their projects are invited to

  • Read about the equipment and services we provide at our IPRL website.
  • For more information, contact IPRL staff at

University of Washington • Center on Human Development and Disability Box 357920 • Seattle WA 98195-7920 USA • 206-543-7701 •