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Unique Capabilities

The Tulane National Primate Research Center is the only NPRC with an on-site Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL). The Tulane RBL is a high-capacity 40,000 square foot facility and a CDC/USDA Select Agent registered entity. The RBL also maintains unique microbiological services including Select Agent and tuberculosis research performance cores, which support the microbiological demands of ongoing research that require propagation, characterization, and laboratory management services for bacterial, viral, and toxic agents of concern. 

Major research and services within the RBL include

  • RBL-dedicated veterinary support staff including multiple research veterinarians and veterinary technicians SA-cleared and trained for on-site support of ongoing research studies 
  • Full-service aerobiology research program and service core for exposure studies involving multiple species including nonhuman primates and rodent species.
  • Advanced imaging including PET/CT and radiograph (X-ray) within BSL-3 envelope
  • BSL-3-based and maintained clinical pathology laboratories
  • Facility-integrated wireless biotelemetry, including surgical device implantation, active data collection for >32 animals concurrently, and comprehensive post-study data analysis and storage 
  • Full operating suite for major in-life surgical procedures within BSL-3 envelope
  • Laboratory-maintained cell-sorting capabilities 
  • Numerous, active disease models in NHP and rodent species that have already been characterized at Tulane RBL specifically in support of Medical countermeasure (MCM) testing & evaluation studies 

Additional notable capabilities at TNPRC that support the RBL include

  • Dedicated institutional commitment to biosafety, biosecurity, and dual-use research of concern 
  • An on-site colony of ≈5,000 animals which include predominately Indian-lineage bred rhesus macaques (M. mulata), specific pathogen free (SPF) and aging subcolonies, and a vervet (C. atheiops) cohort
  • Advanced digital pathology services capable of image acquisition, storage, quantitative analysis with machine learning, as well as remote access/data sharing  
  • Ongoing prenatal, transplacental, and postnatal studies of infectious agent transmission 
  • Quality Assurance/Quality Control Program available within BSL-2/3.
  • Comprehensive project management for contracted studies
  • Existing capability that supports advanced immunological assay development and analysis in BSL-2/3.

In addition, the TNPRC has on-site Principal Investigators that maintain the following NIH/NIAID IQID-accessible contracts

  • Preclinical Models of Infectious Disease

  • Simian Vaccine Evaluation Unit

  • Cellular Immunology Laboratory