The Sabana Seca Field Station (SSFS), located in Toa Baja, PR, is the administrative headquarters for the research facilities of the CPRC. The SSFS is comprised of two breeding colonies of rhesus macaques (Specific Pathogen Free and conventional breeding colonies) that descend directly from the Cayo Santiago population or from the Cayo Santiago genetic line. 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 human diseases. The CPRC's vast experience in the establishment and maintenance of rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) breeding colonies has made it eminent in nonhuman primate research. The SSFS also contains offices, a clinic, and laboratories for reproductive biology, bone densitometry, necropsy and maintenance buildings.
SSFS lies within a conservation and ecological buffer zone of limestone hills, subtropical forest and wetlands. This area has been determined by the Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service to be the known habitat of the Puerto Rican boa Epicrates inornatus, the plains coqui Eleutherodactylus juanariveroi and the plant Daphnopsis helleriana.
The Cayo Santiago Field Station (CSFS) is the oldest, continuously operating, free-ranging rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) colony in the world, serving for over 75 years as an international research, educational, and training resource. The station is a 15.2 ha (37.5 acres) island located 1 km off the coast of Punta Santiago, Humacao, Puerto Rico. CSFS provides a scenario for noninvasive studies in the fields of sociality, cognition, genetics, sexual behavior, functional morphology, parasites, biodemography, and ecology.
As one of the world's most renowned field sites for short-term and longitudinal non-human primate studies, its unique research value consists of a minimally disrupted population management policy which allows investigators to plan and conduct longitudinal studies; an extensive and detailed computerized demographic database on the colony that provides information on individuals dating back to 1957, and DNA fingerprinting which is applied to confirm maternal and paternal relatedness of individuals.
Laboratory of Primate Morphology
The Laboratory of Primate Morphology (LPM) is located at the UPR-Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan. The laboratory houses skeletons of rhesus macaques from Cayo Santiago and Sabana Seca - one of the largest and most valuable collections of nonhuman primate skeletons in the world. For many of them 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.
Laboratory of Virology
The Virology Lab (VL) at the University’s Campus 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 the immune system. The VL’s dedication to furthering knowledge of the immune response will aid in developing other vaccines to other emerging diseases.