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Animal Resources

In addition to a number of core laboratory resources, the Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research maintains a number of animal resources supported as national resources for biomedical and behavioral research. To request information or access to center resources, please visit the Contact Information page.

The Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine strives to meet the needs of the biomedical research community in three ways:


• It provides a national resource for laboratory-born primates, tissues and biological fluids. The use of purpose-bred animals of known origin reduces the number of animals needed and provides better research animals for investigators. The resource provides tissues and biological fluids to investigators throughout the country, thus reducing the need for living animals for these studies.
• It has an active research component that continues to add new information about the biology of monkeys and apes.
• The resource is a source of expertise in primate biology, management and husbandry that can be accessed by anyone, anytime. The center offers training opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and veterinary medical students as well as professionals from the academic and business research communities.

You can also download our Biologics Request Form (pdf). Please fill in the form and fax it back to the number on the form.

Laboratory Reference Value Registry

The center provides a registry of normal reference values and biologic reagents for both owl monkeys and squirrel monkeys. Laboratories both within and outside the resource are routinely evaluating reagents such as antibodies in experiments, but this information has only been available piecemeal in published reports. The Office of AIDS Research and the National center for Research Resources (NCRR) have said there is a need to develop and test new and existing reagents for use in alternative nonhuman primate species. This registry brings together information from a number of different sources to provide a single point of reference.

Chimpanzee Biomedical Research Resource (CBRR)

The Chimpanzee Biomedical Research Resource (CBRR) is maintained at the Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Bastrop, TX. The Keeling Center maintains a colony of 175 chimpanzees. Over the past 30 years, the CBRR has developed the highly specialized housing facilities, laboratories, management techniques and staff essential for conducting research with chimpanzees. Resource-related research will focus on characterization of the immune system of the chimpanzee, expansion of our understanding of chimpanzee cardiomyopathy as a potential human disease model and comparisons of the physiological and immunological consequences of research manipulations on chimpanzees trained to voluntarily cooperate with research procedures. By expanding the resources available, conducting resource-related research and containing costs, the CBRR will continue to provide a critically important, highly specialized research resource to address important human health issues.

Rhesus Monkey Breeding and Research Resource (RMBRR)

For this specific pathogen-free (SPF) Rhesus Monkey Breeding and Research Resource (RMBRR), primary responsibilities involve the medical, surgical, reproductive and social management of close to 1,000 monkeys. For more than 10 years, the colony has been recognized as the finest SPF rhesus colony of its kind, producing animals that are free of Macacine herpesvirus I, simian immunodeficiency virus, simian retrovirus and simian T lymphotrophic virus. The RMBRR is currently a self-supporting colony dedicated to supporting scientists at MD Anderson and throughout the world using this animal model.

Owl Monkey Breeding and Research Resource (OMBRR)

The Owl Monkey Breeding and Research Resource (OMBRR) is an NIH–sponsored laboratory to study and provide information about reproductive biology and behavior in the only nocturnal simian primate. The resource currently maintains a colony of 300 owl monkeys (Aotus). It is the goal of the OMBRR to provide a national resource for monkeys and their tissues and biological fluids, as well as to carry out research leading to a better understanding of owl monkey biology and research uses. This resource has evolved over the years into the only breeding resource of owl monkeys in the United States available to investigators across the country and has led to the development of a research and management group with expertise on reproduction, diseases and basic biology of this Neotropical monkey.

Squirrel Monkey Breeding and Research Resource (SMBRR)

The Squirrel Monkey Breeding and Research Resource (SMBRR) is an NIH–sponsored laboratory to study and provide information about reproductive biology and behavior in the genus Saimiri. The resource currently maintains a colony of 400 squirrel monkeys. It is the goal of the SMBRR to provide a national resource for monkeys and their tissues and biological fluids, as well as to carry out research leading to a better understanding of squirrel monkey biology and research uses. This resource has evolved over the years into the only breeding resource of squirrel monkeys in the United States available across the country and has led to the development of a research and management group with expertise on reproduction, diseases and basic biology of this Neotropical monkey.

Quality of Life Agreement

The Quality of Life (QOL) Agreement is part of Guidelines for Establishing Behavioral Quality of Life Considerations for the Humane Euthanasia of Nonhuman Primates which was established to aid in the decision-making process for the humane euthanasia of a nonhuman primate (NHP) by defining behavioral quality of life (QOL) parameters.  This process is a joint effort between behavioral management and clinical medicine with the goal of making the best decision for the animal.  This document describes the process of forming a QOL team, facilitates defining unique behavioral characteristics and patterns of activity of an individual animal, determines how the QOL team monitors and reports on changes in the animal and serves as a written record and guide as a basis for determining the timeliness of humane euthanasia for the animal.

Large Animal Biomedical Research

On the south end of the campus are the Large Animal and Land Management facilities. This complex has a central office and clinical/surgical facility, two barns, and a number of out-buildings designed for livestock. There are approximately 200 acres available as pasture, on which sheep, goats, horses and cattle are maintained.


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center