Nonhuman primates (NHP) are critical to biomedical and behavioral research and their importance in biomedical and behavioral research is well documented. NHPs'close molecular, immunological, reproductive, and neurological relationship to humans makes them essential for biomedical research, testing and development efforts necessary to advance human health initiatives. The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) and other NIH Institutes and Centers invest substantial resources in support of the National Primate Research Centers (NPRC) and other publicly funded NHP resources. Major support is also provided for basic and translational research using these species. Clinical veterinarians must receive additional training and experience beyond the professional training received in veterinary school in order to provide appropriate and quality clinical care and colony management. The increased demand for the use of NHPs in biomedical investigations, and emergence and spread of potentially deadly diseases such as SARS, influenza, and hepatitis that will be studied using NHP modes is expected to exacerbate the shortage of veterinarians who are properly educated in NHP clinical care and colony management.?The purpose of this application to reduce this shortage of appropriately qualified veterinarians by requesting funding to provide support for training of three resident veterinarians over a four year period in all aspects of NHP nonhuman primate medicine, surgery, care, and management, as well as related areas such as basic NHP biology, genetics, behavior, pathology, production, and occupational health and safety. Narrative: Public Health Importance The ongoing requirement for veterinarians who are trained in laboratory animal medicine was demonstrated in the recent publication titled ?National Need and Priorities for Veterinarians in Biomedical Research? National Academy Press (2004) (www.nap.edu/books/0309090830/html/index.html). As outlined in this document, the number of NIH funded grants utilizing animals increased by approximately 32% from 1995 through 2002, while the number of ACLAM certified laboratory animal veterinarians increased by only 15%. This demonstrates an obvious shortfall in the number of veterinarians that are qualified (as measured by ACLAM certification) to care for laboratory animals in a biomedical research setting. Additionally, referenced document indicated that the number of veterinarians who completed residency programs was 25% lower in 2002 than 1996. This shortage of qualified veterinarians is exacerbated in research facilities that utilize nonhuman primates (NHP) because many of the current laboratory animal medicine training programs do not offer experience in the care and use of NHP and veterinarians that are trained primarily with rodent and species other than NHPs may be reluctant to work with NHPs because of lack of knowledge, comfort level and perceived risk. Another important concern is that projects and programs utilizing NHPs are frequently subjected to more intense scrutiny by Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUC), external oversight and regulatory agencies and animal rights organizations. In addition to the ethical requirement to provide adequate veterinary care for animals used in research, the increased scrutiny afforded nonhuman primates makes it imperative to have adequate numbers of highly qualified and experienced veterinarians who are responsible for their care and use. It is anticipated that provision of this residency training will help to alleviate the shortage of adequately qualified and experienced veterinarians and help to assure that appropriate care is provided for NHPs used in both basic and translational biomedical research.
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