Request for Information from Facilities with Experience in Maintaining Populations of Aging Research Chimpanzees

Notice Number: NOT-RR-10-008

Key Dates
Release Date:  April 9, 2010
Response Date: May 5, 2010

Issued by
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR),


The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), one of the components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), provides funding for federally owned or supported chimpanzees. Approximately 250 of these chimpanzees are eligible to be part of a cohort of aging chimpanzees for which long-term age appropriate care can be provided.  This cohort can also be considered for participation in protocols addressing aspects of geriatric medicine and health care relevant to both humans and chimpanzees. NCRR is interested in determining the most effective format for identifying and establishing this cohort; animals may remain at their current facilities within their established social groups with the research protocols being a collaborative effort among facilities, or all animals in the cohort may be housed at a single facility.


The NCRR provides laboratory scientists and clinical researchers with the tools and training they need to understand, detect, treat, and prevent a wide range of diseases.  Along with other Institutes and Centers at NIH, NCRR supports research animal model resources and facilities.  Although the NCRR no longer supports the breeding of chimpanzees for research, the NCRR recognizes the value of research in chimpanzees related to specific aspects of human health.  Chimpanzees can live up to 50 years when not in the wild.  The NCRR recognizes the special needs for care of the aging chimpanzee population for which it maintains ownership or support, as well as the ongoing value of the chimpanzees to participate in age appropriate protocols that address geriatric issues for human and chimpanzee health.   This RFI is designed to gather information about facilities available to support this aging population as well as to conduct research studies.

Information Requested

NIH invites interested parties to submit the information outlined below.  It is anticipated that the information received will be used in two ways.  First, the information will provide understanding of existing facilities that have the experience and expertise managing aging chimpanzee populations.  It is hoped that both the past successes of such operations as well as any challenges with the long-term sustainability of those populations will become apparent in the responses.  Second, NCRR is in the process of developing plans for the establishment of a cohort of older chimpanzees that will be eligible to participate in aging studies: promoting and disseminating longitudinal research related to aging processes in chimpanzees and humans. Some of the information that you provide may be used in that planning process.  The submitted information will be reviewed by NCRR and will be shared with other NIH Institutes and Centers that have an interest in this matter.

1)  Describe your facility (or facilities)

Please describe how you are associated with the chimpanzee facility.  This description might include (1) a brief history of the facility including its location and capacity for caring for chimpanzees, (2) the management of the facility, including the management team, the staff (e.g., animal care staff, veterinary support, research support staff), and research support resources, such as imaging, laboratory and clinical diagnostic capabilities, research procedural areas, etc., (3) the number of animals at the facility, as well as the number of additional animals that could be accepted as funds for their support would be made available.

2)  Describe how you would conduct aging-specific studies or provide support for visiting scientists conducting such studies

Please describe your ability to provide professional/technical services outlined in institutionally-approved animal protocols calling for the use of the specific animals identified as members of the aging cohort.  Please describe the unique aspects of your program that would facilitate the support/conduct of research with aging chimpanzees.  Please describe the resources and facilities that could be made available (on a cost-reimbursable basis) to visiting scientists traveling to the facility to conduct aging studies.

3)  Describe the routine, periodic medical, and preventive medical programs provided to the current chimpanzee population at your facility

Please provide the methodologies employed to gather ‘vital signs’ and other periodic routine physiological values and the frequency with which those values are measured.  Please describe other resources available at your facility, such as imaging devices, unique diagnostic equipment, etc., that could augment assessment of the animals’ health and well-being.

4) Federal Law and NIH policies                   

The organization chosen to manage the aging colony(ies) must assure the facility(ies) has an Animal Welfare Assurance on file with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, NIH (please provide the Animal Welfare Assurance number) and is registered as a research facility with the United States Department of Agriculture (please provide the license or registration number for the facility).

5) Management plans for facilities

Unless covered in detail under 2) above, describe any management plans that that allow expansion or modification of the existing facility.  Such plans might be concerned with institutional oversight, expenses, and public relations.  Describe any management plans that link your facility with other facilities with similar goals (e.g., interest groups, consortia). 

6) Other issues

In response to this RFI, please be concise and succinct in describing your experience without relying on URLs or other Web resource materials.

How to Submit a Response

Responses will be accepted through May 5, 2010.  Responses by e-mail are strongly preferred.  Please use the address to submit a response. 


Inquiries regarding this notice may be directed to:

Harold L. Watson, PhD
Division of Comparative Medicine
National Center for Research Resources
6701 Democracy Boulevard
Bethesda, MD   20892-4874
Telephone:   (301) 435-0884 
FAX:  (301) 480-3819

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