Wednesday, May 6, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Primate center readies respiratory disease lab

Monkey1w

Louise Olsen, inhalation exposure facility manager, speaks with reporters about specially designed chambers inside the California National Primate Center's new respiratory disease laboratory building. With room for up to four monkeys, the building's 12 chambers will be used to expose animals to allergens and air pollutants. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | February 28, 2014 |

A one-of-a-kind respiratory disease lab is nearing completion at the California National Primate Research Center at UC Davis.

The 19,000-square-foot building will house an inhalation exposure facility unique among the eight National Institutes of Health-supported primate centers, plus new laboratory, meeting and office space.

Initial areas of study there will include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, exposure to secondhand smoke and air pollution, childhood asthma and infectious diseases, including H1N1 influenza in infants.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be opening this building,” said Lisa Miller, an associate professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine, during a media tour held Thursday. “From a technical side, this is fantastic facility to study environmental exposures using the nonhuman primate as a model.

“This is really the first time that we can have a large group of respiratory scientists collaborating together. We’re expecting visiting scientists from other universities to come in and work with us.”

The building cost about $18 million. Of that, $14.2 million came from federal stimulus money, the balance from UCD.

Inside, the new inhalation exposure facility measures 6,643 square feet. It includes 12 specially designed, glass-sided exposure chambers, which can hold four monkeys each, allowing researchers to expose animals to, say, ozone or allergens.

The new facility also has a room specially designed to study exposure to cigarette smoke and three clean-air animal holding rooms, each of which can hold 32 caged monkeys and a pulmonary function testing laboratory.

“And we have windows,” said Louise Olsen, inhalation facility manager.

The center’s current exposure facility, constructed in 1972, is really just a large steel shed, measuring 4,800 square feet, with a dated air-handling system.

The old structure holds 18 smaller exposure chambers that hold only two monkeys and that open from only one side, making them more difficult to use for animal-care staff, Olsen said.

Center director Dallas Hyde said a new room that will be used to study secondhand smoke exposure is particularly unique.

“It’s very difficult to do secondhand tobacco exposures in small chambers because you don’t get the aging of smoke that would happen in a smoky bar,” he said. “In a large room like that you can get those types of chemical reactions.

“It’s expensive to build these, but if you can ever do this, it’s a golden opportunity to look at the injurious components of secondhand smoke. We have not been able to do that in the past.”

Added Hyde, “In Davis, not that many people smoke, so we don’t think cigarette smoking is a big issue. But there’s 10 to 15 million mothers a year in this country that smoke during pregnancy. So understanding the effects on prenatal and how that affects post-natal development is a critical issue.”

For now, lab space related to respiratory research is housed in separate buildings. The new structure places two laboratories and adjacent tissue-culture under the same roof, a few steps away from the exposure areas.

Microscopes, incubators to culture cells and the faculty, post-doctoral researchers and graduate students who use them likely will be moved in by summer, Miller said, after a series of inspections and certifications is complete.

About 42 UCD faculty members are involved in respiratory research.

Another 26 researchers from across the country have expressed interest in doing work at the facility, Hyde said. He said he expects 10 to 15 of those to write grants to perform research at the center in the next year.

The center also will promote its new facility on other UC and nearby campuses, as well as at events like an upcoming American Thoracic Society conference, Hyde said.

The new building also will enable the center to double the total number of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows doing research there.

Currently, 12 graduate students and 10 post-doctoral fellows do research at the center. Other primary areas of research include brain, mind and behavior, infectious disease and reproductive sciences and regenerative medicine.

The Primate Center is west of the main campus, on 300 acres ringed by barbed wire and video cameras, on County Road 98 adjacent to Hutchison Drive. Its staff numbers about 350.

The center also is home to about 4,900 monkeys, almost all of them rhesus macaques.

About 65 percent of the animals live outside in family groups — most in one of 24 half-acre corrals that include shade structures, wind breaks, barrels, play structures and gas-powered heaters. About 850 monkeys are born at the center annually.

— Reach Cory Golden at [email protected] or 530-747-8046. Follow him on Twitter at @cory_golden

Comments

comments

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    New chemistry building in the works at UCD

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

     
    County supervisors receive positive report on Laura’s Law

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

    With collective’s help, you can fix it yourself at Bike Forth

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Bob Dunning: Squeezed by the math on conservation

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Big Day of Giving surpasses $5 million goal

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    ’12 Angry Men’ will screen Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Kids get a peek at the great outdoors

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    BeerFest expands to include cider

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Heidrick Ag History Center rebranded as California Agriculture Museum

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    May 11 talk focuses on clean water

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    ‘From Age-ing to Sage-ing’ guides library group

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Crossing lines, on ‘Davisville’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pet Food Express organizes Save a Kitten fundraiser

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Round up at the registers for Davis schools

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

     
    Retirees to hear about Woodland’s shade tree campaign

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    Origami lovers will meet at library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Breast cancer treatment update offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    Earth-centered author comes to Avid Reader

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    MIND Institute lecture will focus on prenatal exposure to insecticide

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Health care documentary will screen at meeting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Pence Gallery: We’re overflowing with gratitude

    By Natalie Nelson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Who is Ralph Hexter? Chancellor’s No. 2 fills us in

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    New book flows with good news about water

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    Injection wells endanger our aquifers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    Living with this for 30 years

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Sports

    Davis boys dominate first playoff match

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggies go flat in 7-1 Sacramento State win at Raley

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils crush Edison to earn McClatchy rematch

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Blue Devils grind out a victory over Oak Ridge

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Alliance/Legacy roundup: Local squads fare well over the weekend

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    AYSO roundup: Davis teams capture Fog Classic crowns

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Pro baseball roundup: Giants blank Pads, win fifth straight

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    High school artists exhibited at Pence Gallery

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    See Christian Quintin’s paintings at Hattie Weber Museum

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble returns

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Sac Ballet presents Modern Masters on May 8-9

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

     
    Davis Youth Flute Choir tunes up for China tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, May 6, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B5