This application is a competing renewal of the Squirrel Monkey Breeding and Research Resource (SMBRR), P40 OD010938 which has received continuous NIH grant support since 1980. The SMBRR is the only national research resource of laboratory born squirrel monkeys available to NIH grantees, intramural research programs of federal agencies including the FDA, NSF, and the NIH, and other sponsors of biomedical research (private foundations, pharmaceutical companies, and contract research organizations). Because some squirrel monkey species are no longer available from source countries and there are no other breeding colonies of pedigreed squirrel monkeys available for biomedical research, the SMBRR is a unique research resource that cannot be duplicated or replaced. The overall goals of the SMBRR are to provide a national research resource of squirrel monkeys; provide squirrel monkey derived biological materials; provide education and training opportunities to scientists, colony managers, and animal caregivers; and, provide investigators with facilities and expertise to conduct studies using squirrel monkeys. The scarcity of squirrel monkeys, difficulties associated with captive breeding, challenges associated with their care and use in research, all contribute to the need for this national research resource The SMBRR has integrated multiple disciplines into a program designed to meet the needs of investigators who utilize the resources provided by the SMBRR. The SMBRR has focused much of its effort on understanding the natural biology, reproductive biology, and diseases of squirrel monkeys with an emphasis on models of human disease. In the coming years, the SMBRR will continue to improve the resources it provides and continue to add new information about the biology and research value of squirrel monkeys. Squirrel monkeys continue to be used extensively in neuroscience research, drug addiction research, malaria research, and fundamental evolutionary biology. New areas of research requiring squirrel monkeys continue to emerge. As these new research areas develop, the SMBRR plays an essential role by providing the animals, biological resources, and the expertise needed to carry out research in squirrel monkeys. In the next five years, the SMBRR will increase the animals and related resources that can be provided to the scientific community. The SMBRR plans to organize and sponsor a squirrel monkey genomics workshop. Biomedical scientists who use squirrel monkeys to study human diseases and geneticists will share their expertise to determine how genome sequencing and subsequent identification of SNPs can be used to increase the value of the squirrel monkey model in human health research. The proposed applied research projects (Applied Research Component) will add new information about squirrel monkeys. This information will further refine and add value to the resources provided by the SMBRR.
The 'Squirrel Monkey Breeding and Research Resource' (SMBRR) maintains the only self-sustaining national research resource of laboratory-born squirrel monkeys, their tissues and other biological materials, and the expertise to carry out research in this important research animal. Scientists with NIH grants utilize squirrel monkeys to study many diseases that threaten human health including alzheimer's disease and other disorders of the central nervous system, drug addiction, malaria, and viral diseases. The resources provided by the SMBRR reduce the need for importation of squirrel monkeys by providing highly defined animals and biomaterials that scientists can use to either reduce the number of animals needed or eliminate the need for living animals in their research.
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