UC Davis’ Office of Government and Community Relations and research unit the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC), hosted legislative staff from six congressional offices this month.
Attendees included: Syndey Lewis, Sacramento District Director, Senator Harris; Jamario Jackson, Field Representative, Senator Feinstein; Mathew Ceccato, District Director, Congressman Bera; Natasha Pavlovich, Field Representative, Congresswoman Matsui; Mel Orphilia, Field Representative, Congressman Thompson; Logan Sidle, Field Representative, Congressman Garamendi.
The CNPRC is one of seven such centers across the United States supported by the National Institutes of Health. Research performed at the CNPRC and other National Primate Research Centers provides necessary information before proceeding to clinical trials in humans, leading to new drugs, therapies and surgical procedures that benefit human health and quality of life.
The tour, led by Dr. John Morrison, the Center’s director, provided insight to the critical role that the primates play in clinical research breakthroughs and answered first-hand frequently asked questions about the research projects conducted at the center.
Legislative outreach is important for the purpose of helping to inform policy decision making. Currently, Federal laws mandate that animal studies be conducted prior to studies in humans. In December 2018, Senator Cory Booker, introduced the Primate Protection and Research Modernization Act of 2018 (S. 3773), the bill has not yet been reintroduced in the 116th Congress, but would severely restrict and potentially terminate the use of nonhuman primate models in biomedical research.
Primate research contributes in substantial ways to health care and in developing a better understanding of, and new treatments for, a wide range of human health problems including asthma, HIV/AIDS, childhood illnesses, Alzheimer’s disease, and environmental toxins that impact our health.