Director of the New Iberia Research Center
Humans and nonhuman primates share >95% of genetic homology and present many similarities in their immune response patterns, especially when compared to rodents. In addition, many pathogens, such as HIV, EBV, Ebola, Zyka virus and others either infect and cause disease in nonhuman primates or have a primate counterpart with pathomechanisms very similar to those observed in humans. This renders nonhuman primates as the ultimate preclinical model to study not only therapies, organ transplantation or vaccines, but also provides important models to study basic biological mechanisms of disease induction and defenses.
Key to advances in the biomedical field using these models is a fine definition of such models and the availability of tools to conduct preclinical studies. The New Iberia Research Center as the largest primate center in the world offers many opportunities to develop test and use such models.