Melween Martínez, DVM
The Caribbean Primate Research Center (CPRC), is a world renown center for the study of non-human primates. Established in 1938, it has a long history of involvement in key scientific discoveries, such as the discovery of the Rh blood antigen. Its mission is the study and use of non-human primates as models for studies of social and biological interactions and for the discovery of methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases that afflict humans. Through its broad multidisciplinary approach, the CPRC provides a unique resource for collaborative studies by visiting scientists. Consistent with its broad range of activities, the CPRC is divided into several functional units.
Cayo Santiago, a provisioned island of free-ranging monkeys, allows the observer to study rhesus monkeys in a semi-natural environment. On this site, researchers have studied behavior, movement, morphology or other fields of study.
Sabana Seca, the headquarters of the CPRC, houses the SPF and conventional breeding colonies. For many years the CPRC has supplied the scientific community with Indian-origin rhesus macaques with known backgrounds, and of the same genetic pool, for use in studies of numerous diseases that afflict humans. The CPRC's vast experience in the establishment and maintenance of rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) breeding colonies has made it eminent in non-human primate studies. In addition, the Reproductive Biology Laboratory, at Sabana Seca, studies the parameters for healthy conception and birth.
The Virology Laboratory (VL) of the CPRC conducts the necessary serological tests supporting the SPF colony. It also seeks to develop vaccines against Dengue and SIV, diseases that are very complex and challenging to immune systems. The VL’s dedication to furthering knowledge of the immune response will aid in developing other vaccines to other emerging diseases.
The Laboratory of Primate Morphology and Genetics houses skeletons of rhesus macaques from Cayo Santiago and Sabana Seca. Many of these originated from Cayo Santiago and the identity, age, sex, matriline, and parity are known. They provide a unique resource for the study of age-related pathologies of the skeletal system, as well as studies of normal variation in the skeletal system.
On this website you will learn more about the CPRC's resources and its opportunities for collaborative research and training.