I am delighted to welcome you to our website where you can learn more about who we are and what we do at our Center. WaNPRC is one of the seven centers in the United States National Primate Research Center Program (NPRC) established by Congress in 1959. Congress established the NPRC program to provide specialized resources to scientists across the United States engaged in nonhuman primate research studies that are applicable to human health. The Centers are part of the overall mission of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.
Our mission at WaNPRC, as part of the overall mission of NIH, is to empower the delivery of leading edge scientific discoveries to improve human health while promoting the highest standards of care, health, well-being and conservation for primates around the world. We are an organization made up of over 150 scientists, animal husbandry and care specialists, behavior management specialists, veterinarians, administrative staff and senior leadership. At the Center, we work to support the efforts of over 400 scientists locally at the University of Washington and across the greater Seattle area, the United States, Asia and Europe. I have come to know the amazing people at WaNPRC as a group of people who share a passion for advancing scientific breakthroughs and medical advances and for providing compassionate care to laboratory animals. I share their passions and along with them, have a deep and unwavering commitment to excellence in science and excellence in laboratory animal care and well-being. I am honored to serve the people, their efforts, and the laboratory animals, as Director of the WaNPRC.
I invite you to revisit this space often, as I plan to unfold information about the Center and provide you with updates on our efforts and successes. I also plan to begin a blog site, linked to this page to discuss with you topics of interest related to the work that we do at the Center (https://wanprc.uw.edu/category/news/directors-blog/).
Michele A. Basso, PhD
The Center supports scientists across multiple schools at the University of Washington including, the School of Medicine, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Schools of Engineering, Pharmacy and Dentistry. Our research spans virtually all aspects of nonhuman primate biology and well-being and endeavors to translate new insights gained from nonhuman primate research to the development of new medicines and treatments against a wide range of human disease. WaNPRC is comprised of four units of scientific excellence: Gene Therapy and Regenerative Medicine, Infectious Disease and Translational Medicine, Global Conservation and Outreach, and Neuroscience. Clicking on these links will provide you with more information about our units of scientific excellence.
Scientific knowledge is increasing at an unprecedented pace and WaNPRC is well-positioned to bring our units of scientific excellence together to improve nonhuman primate and human health.
Our Gene Therapy and Regenerative Medicine team uses of state of the art gene editing technologies to understand the fundamental biology of and develop treatments for, HIV, leukemia and other cancers as well as genetic blood diseases including Fanconi anemia and sickle cell disease and cardiovascular disease. Our Infectious Disease team is at the forefront of investigating mechanisms of pathogenesis and in the development of vaccines and therapies for HIV, Zika, SARS-CoV-2, malaria, influenza and other emerging infectious diseases. Our Global Conservation, Education and Outreach team works closely with community members across the world notably in countries where monkeys are indigenous, to enhance education and mitigate potential negative impacts on monkey populations due to human – animal conflict. The work of our Global Conservation, Education and Outreach team also provides real-world guidance to our behavioral management and husbandry teams at the Center, so that our laboratory animals live in psychologically enriched environments. Our Neuroscience team contributes to fundamental knowledge in the areas of brain-computer interfaces and methods to help individuals suffering from movement disorders after stroke and spinal cord injury. Our team in Neuroscience at WaNPRC also works on understanding how the brain sees and the development of prosthetics to give the gift of sight to people with low-vision and blindness, as well as understanding how brain circuits go awry in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.