Nonhuman Primates & Large Animal Research

Get Support for Your Large Animal Study

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is home to a world-class nonhuman primate center with the capacity to house over 1,000 nonhuman primates and other large animal species, such as pigs, sheep and goats, and has technical staff experienced in large animal research. Find the ideal animal model for your translational research when you partner with Wake Forest Innovations.

Take Your Preclinical Research to the Next Level

We understand that the foundation of successful clinical trials is often superior preclinical research. Accelerate your project with our expertise in large animal models, including access to our world-class facilities and leading experts.

At the core of our large animal research is the Clarkson Campus, a 200-acre rural environment, originating from the Section for Comparative Medicine in the mid-1960s by Thomas B.Clarkson, Jr. DVM, a pioneer in translational research. The Clarkson Campus features state-of-the-art laboratories, a mobile imaging platform, a custom diet preparation laboratory and GLP-compliant surgical facilities.

We provide superior husbandry and enrichment for our animals. Many of our nonhuman primates are housed socially to European Standards, where they are able to interact with each other in a more natural environment. This reduces stress and normalizes socialization for the animals and improves the quality of the scientific studies.

Work with our experts to create a custom solution for your project in the following research areas

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Behavioral medicine
  • Cancer
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Endometriosis
  • Heart disease
  • Influenza
  • Medical devices
  • Novel therapeutics
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Radiation
  • Substance abuse
  • Vaccination trials

Capabilities in Large Animal Research

Quality Animal Care

We have a veterinary staff to ensure the highest quality of care for our animals. We also have large corralled pastures to accommodate grazing animals, and many of our nonhuman primates have both indoor and outdoor housing.


Our facilities have been fully AAALAC accredited since 1966, OLAW approved and are certified by the USDA. We manage a Good Laboratory Practices-compliant large animal surgical facility, and our senior staff veterinarians are ACLAM Diplomates.

Industry-standard Methods

Industry-sponsored studies are conducted and managed by a team with senior scientific and management experience at pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies. We use industry-standard documentation procedures, data archive, and communication practices to ensure studies meet or surpass regulatory compliance requirements.

Our Experts in Large Animal Models

Although we specialize in nonhuman primates, our teams have experience with other large animals, including pigs and sheep. Among our nonhuman primates, we house cynomolgus macaques, rhesus macaques and vervet/African green monkeys. We are committed to identifying the best animal model to fit your study.

Preclinical Surgical Services

We have a veterinary clinical and surgical team dedicated to supporting translational studies. This service adds value by giving industry access to a scalable team of expert veterinarian clinicians and surgeons. Our highly trained technical staff partner with our principal investigators or directly with industry partners to conduct high-quality preclinical studies.
Preclinical Surgical Services

Diet Preparation Laboratory

The staff at our diet preparation laboratory develop custom nonhuman primate and other animal diets modeled after various human nutritional environments. Industry can access our established recipes for Western, Eastern, and Mediterranean diets or create a unique diet to test nutritional impact on the intervention being studied.

Discover the Benefits of a Nonhuman Primate Colony

In many cases, nonhuman primates are the ideal model for research. We are experienced at sourcing the right animal for the study, including cynomolgus and rhesus monkeys. However, the fastest research track is often through the use of an established colony of nonhuman primates.

Wake Forest Baptist has housed a multi-generational, pedigreed and genomically-sequenced colony of vervet/African green monkeys since 2008. When this animal is the right fit for a study, this historic colony or purpose-bred animals can add value by providing data across an animal’s lifetime that can help with model selection, genomic sequencing (enabling genetic and epigenetic studies) and a nutritional context for studying chronic disease. Our researchers provide the expertise required to develop the right pilot, interventional or observational investigations to meet your project needs.

Other benefits of using an established colony include:

  • Housed in a matrilineal groups, the animals form bonds the way they would naturally and eliminates stressors that may occur when animals are not in familiar social networks
  • Active breeding program creates opportunities to conduct neonatal research
  • Animals range in age from newborn through 25 years, and over their lifespan experience naturally occurring diseases
  • Colonies provide rapid study initiation, bypassing the need for quarantine of externally sourced animals
  • Extensive longitudinal records on each animal, detailing all research and clinical interactions including sampling data across the animals lifetime
  • Optimized for studies related to growth, development, temperament, aging and chronic disease risk with consideration for genetic and sex differences
  • Tissue Repository and Consortium that banks tissues from multiple organ systems and biological information obtained from these tissues
  • Animals available for both short-term lease or purchase options to fit study and budgetary needs