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About Yerkes

Established in 1930, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center is the oldest scientific institute dedicated to nonhuman primate research and paved the way for the National Institutes of Health-funded National Primate Research Center (NPRC) program.

The Yerkes Research Center is one of only seven NPRCs. Our collective vision is people across generations and the world living longer, healthier lives. In partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and others, the NPRCs conduct and enable studies that make breakthrough discoveries of causes, preventions, treatments and cures possible.

Yerkes research goals include: developing vaccines for infectious and noninfectious diseases; increasing understanding of progressive illnesses, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and developing methods for the earliest possible diagnosis; unlocking the secrets of memory; treating and even preventing autism spectrum disorders, fear and anxiety-related disorders, and drug addiction; advancing knowledge about the evolutionary links between biology and behavior; and interpreting brain activity through imaging. Our research is grounded in scientific integrity, expert knowledge, respect for colleagues, an open exchange of ideas and compassionate, quality animal care. 

We have two locations: a 25-acre Main Center on the Emory University campus that houses approx. 1,000 nonhuman primates (NHPs) as well as 7,500 rodetns, and a 117-acre Field Station in Lawrenceville, GA, that houses approx. 2,500 NHPs. The focus of the Main Center is biomedical research, and the focus of the Field Station is behavioral research. The Field Station is also home to our rhesus macaque breeding colony. Other NHPs at Yerkes include sooty mangabeys and squirrel monkeys, and our rodent colony includes mice, voles and rats. You can read more about our animals here

Yerkes is a part of the The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC) of Emory University. The WHSC is working to pioneer new ways to prevent and treat disease, prepare the next generation to save and improve lives, provide the highest quality clinical care possible and serve the community. The center's components include Emory University School of Medicine, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Rollins School of Public Health, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Winship Cancer Institute and Emory Healthcare, the most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has $3.8 billion in operating expenditures, almost 25,000 employees (including 3,205 faculty), 1,274 affiliated faculty, 5,115 students and trainees, and a $7.5 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

The groundbreaking discoveries being made at Yerkes would not be possible without the knowledge and conviction of our more than 500 employees who are as dedicated to making scientific discovery in NHPs as they are to providing exceptional animal care. The center follows regulations and guidelines the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Emory’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee have established, and Yerkes has maintained the gold standard of "continuous full accreditation" from AAALAC Int. since 1984. 

Through generous gifts from friends of the Yerkes Research Center, we will continue to improve human and animal health by recruiting the best researchers, investing in the next generation and maintaining our state-of-the-art research facilities and equipment. To learn more about the Yerkes Research Center’s funding priorities, click here. Public support is critical to our continued success and the health of our nation and the world.

Programs at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center are supported in part by the National Institutes of Health, Office of the Director, Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (P51OD011132).

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