Abstract # 13396 Event # 190:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 24, 2019 10:25 AM-10:50 AM: (Room 325/326) Oral Presentation


W. D. Hopkins1,2
1University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Comparative Medicine, Bastrop, TX 78602, USA, 2Ape Cognition and Conservation Initiative, Des Moines, Iowa
     Chimpanzees have been a valuable model species for comparative and evolutionary studies of brain and behavior. To facilitate the collection and dissemination of neuroimaging and postmortem materials in this important species, in 2015, the National Chimpanzee Brain Resource (NCBR) was created. The NCBR currently contains > 200 formalin-fixed and > 90 frozen brain tissue specimens as well as nearly 300 in vivo and ex vivo MRI scans. In this talk, I (1) discuss the scientific value of the NCBR resources (2) highlight several important findings that have been revealed as a consequence of the use of the NCBR resource and (3) articulate concerns, inconsistencies and challenges with current NIH policy on the use of chimpanzees in research, particularly as it relates to continued collection of postmortem materials. I conclude by arguing that, rather than simply retire and warehouse the NIH-owned chimpanzees, NIH should create and support a National Chimpanzee Research Program that takes advantage of this unique yet dwindling resource to advance our understanding of human and chimpanzee health and wellbeing. Contrary to the claims and assumptions of some, these goals can be met following the highest ethical standards for research and without comprising chimpanzee welfare, management and care.