For over 30 years, the Infant Primate Research Laboratory (IPRL) has provided services to investigators using infant nonhuman primates as animal models for behavioral and biological research. The IPRL is supported as a core facility of both the Washington National Primate Research Center and the Center on Human Development and Disability. Investigators at both places have access to comprehensive services that allow them to conduct their research.
The IPRL provides around-the-clock care for pregnant females and infants in order to optimize survival and minimize morbidity. This effort increases the number of healthy animals available to the overall primate colony and reduces costs to investigators. The colony and research supported operations in the lab are closely tied due to the nature of the research conducted in the facility (see Division of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences for description of research). These efforts are also closely integrated with activities and support from the other units within the Division of Primate Resources.
Animal care procedures, such as the feeding and housing protocols, are standardized to maximize survival, health, and psychological well-being. These protocols also provide data on important developmental milestones related to self-feeding, temperature regulation, and autonomic nervous system development. The veterinary screening program in the lab is also standardized to provide daily clinical observations of all animals.
Timed Mating Breeding Program
In this program, the Washington National Primate Research Center has the ability to produce gestation-known fetuses and infants for investigators through daily menses tracking using a noninvasive observational method. This is particularly important for our current studies requiring early gestation interventions or experimental treatments that may affect gestation length. The IPRL is also home to a labor and delivery suite where pregnant females are housed. This area is equipped with infrared cameras so that nursery staff can perform checks every 30 minutes from the main lab.