MRC Centre for Macaques Biobank

By MRC Harwell

18th September 2020 · 1 min read

The Medical Research Council’s Centre for Macaques (CFM) has established a new public biobank for primate tissue.

This new online resource is the first public, non-human primate biobank in the UK offering access to tissue for use in clinical and fundamental research. The biobank is an important resource where valuable tissues are openly shared to promote and encourage translational scientific collaboration in different research fields.

The Centre for Macaques, established in 2003, is a primate breeding unit that houses and breeds rhesus macaques. Macaques are a unique and valuable model for studying human disease as they are primates with a similar vision, central nervous system, immunology, and reproductive system to humans. Whilst the research using macaques provides answers to vital and pertinent scientific questions, they are only used in areas of research where there is no alternative approach.

The CFM biobank is a not-for-profit resource that has been designed specifically to encourage collaboration, comparative studies across model species, and wider use of our existing resources. The tissue is securely frozen to ensure it can be used for future research. Samples are available free of charge to UK academics (delivery charges only).

To date CFM have supplied over 750 different tissue and blood samples to academic and commercial partners. The biobank will further support research across the globe by providing an accessible online register for genetic material that will progress and improve biomedical research. This growing catalogue currently offers tissue from 23 different animals, with over 40 different tissue types available. Researchers can search the online catalogue for existing samples or discuss more complex tissue samples to advance their research.