This is a competing renewal requesting support for the pedigreed and genotyped Vervet Research Colony (VRC). The VRC is structured to provide NIH-funded researchers with the opportunity to conduct genetically informed studies of the chronic, degenerative, and infectious diseases comprising the majority of the human health burden. The VRC provides access to the complete pedigree for phenotyping or genetic mapping, to individual monkeys or groups that can be purchased for use on- or off-site, and to the extensive data and tissue repositories that have been derived from the VRC over the past 25 years. Such repositories not only provide preliminary data but are designed for novel hypothesis generation and testing. To encourage maximum use of the resource and associated repositories, the VRC faculty engage in a vigorous program of extramural recruitment of scientists and projects. The four specific aims are: 1) to maintain a pathogen- defined pedigree enabling NlH-supported researchers to conduct linkage and association studies in relation to biomedically relevant traits and to engage in longitudinal or short-term phenotypic investigations using the pedigree under controlled environmental and genetic conditions;2) to provide animals for purchase by NlH-supported investigators, including options for on- or off-site use and pilot investigations;3) to provide the VRC as a platform for training veterinarians and other professionals in the husbandry and clinical care of vervets;and 4) to enrich the resource by leveraging the integrated genetics and genomics platform to identify the biological mechanisms linking neurobehavioral (e.g., reward sensitivity) and cardiometabolic (e.g., obesity and its sequelae) phenotypes.
Aim 4 is the research aim of the application and takes advantage of the complementary scientific skills of the UCLA and WFU investigators to enhance the value of the resource for novel, multi-system investigations with substantial translational relevance. The foregoing aims are designed to fulfill completely the characteristics required for an Animal Model and Biological Materials Resource Grant (P40).
The vervet is a model of choice for neurogenetic studies, the development of cell-lines, vaccine testing, cardiometabolic investigations, and the investigation of simian immunodeficiency virus. The vervet also models many of the same diseases studied in other monkeys and is therefore an alternative biomedical species. Finally, it is anticipated that the vervet will have available the first genome wide, single nucleotide polymorphism resource available for any nonhuman primate.
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