Agenda, Abstracts, and Speakers

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Welcome | Video | Presentation

Keynote: The Historical Use of Callitrichids in Biomedical Research and Current Trends | Video | Presentation
Suzette Tardif, Southwest National Primate Research Center

Session 1: Marmoset Availability

JON LEVINE, Wisconsin National Primate Research Center | Video | Presentation

Marmoset monkeys have received heightened attention by the biomedical research community as non-human primate models for the study of human diseases.  The increase in demand for marmoset monkeys has been driven in part by its recognition as practical non-human primate subjects that can more closely recapitulate the physiology and pathophysiology of humans, thereby strengthening the translational value of research studies. The advent of new genomic editing techniques and other groundbreaking technologies has also raised the profile of marmoset monkeys as subjects for development of non-human primate models of inherited or acquired human diseases. There has been little consideration, however, of a national strategy to expand and enrich the marmoset colonies available for research.  Such deliberations are now underway at the NIH and among professional communities, and will be the subject of this introductory discussion.

Speaker bio

Dr. Jon E. Levine, Ph.D. completed his B.A. at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Dr. Levine completed postdoctoral training at the Oregon National Primate Research Center & Oregon Health Sciences University.  Levine joined the faculty at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in 1984, and remained there as Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Physiology until 2010.  While on the faculty at Northwestern, Dr. Levine served as Director of the Program in Biological Sciences (1999-2006), and as Director of a NIH-sponsored Training Program in Reproductive Biology (1991-2010). He is currently the Director of the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center and Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  For the past 40years Dr. Levine has studied the neuroendocrine regulation of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons. Dr. Levine’s research has also focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which ovarian steroids exert their physiological and behavioral effects in the brain, including the negative feedback mechanisms that maintain homeostatic control within the reproductive axis, as well as the positive feedback actions of steroids that trigger preovulatory gonadotropin surges. His recent work has made use of newly developed mutant mice and non-human primate models to analyze the cell signaling mechanisms that mediate negative and positive feedback actions of estradiol, the role of steroid hormone receptors and kisspeptin neurons in the timing of puberty, and as the effects of estrogens on energy homeostasis and body weight.  Dr. Levine has served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, and as a member of the Steering Council for the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the NIH. He is an active member of numerous professional societies including the Endocrine Society, Society for Neuroscience, and the Society for the Study of Reproduction.

ERIKA SASAKI, Central Institute for Experimental Animals, Japan | Video | Presentation

Current situation of marmoset supply and demand in Japan

Japanese National Brain Project, the Brain Mapping by Integrated Neurotechnologies for Disease Studies (the BRAIN/Minds) project has been launched in June 2014. In japan, marmoset is shortage because demand for marmosets continues to increase after BRAIN/Minds begins. In this talk, new approach to solve this issue and maintaining genetic diversity of the marmoset colony will be proposed.

Speaker bio

Dr. Erika Sasaki is Director in Center of Applied Developmental Biology, Central Institute for Experimental Animals (CIEA). Erika joined CIEA in April 2003 from The Institute of Medical Science (IMS), University of Tokyo where she had been a research associate at Division of Molecular Therapy. Erika was also faculty of Keio University from  2004-2018.She obtained her PhD in University of Tsukuba in 1995 and continued as a post-doctoral research fellow in National Institute of Animal Health, Ministry of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and University of Guelph, Ontario Canada until 2001, when she move to ISM. Her current research focuses on establishing human disease models in genetically modified marmosets for preclinical research and assessing safety and efficacy of regenerative medicines in disease treatment. For this purpose, Erika has generated the world’s first transgenic marmoset with germline transmission in 2009.  For the scientific interest, she is also studying early embryonic development in marmoset and gametogenesis in marmoset to understand the difference between rodents and primates’ early development. Erika has an extensive record of publications, invited lectures, and service activities. Erika has received several awards for her expertise and achievement in this area including Prize for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Andoh-Tajima Award of the Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science. She is an organizing committee member of Japan Society for Marmoset Research and Asia-Oceania Research group for Common marmoset.

MARIA ADELIA BORSTELMANN DE OLIVEIRA, Federal Rural University of Pernambuco – UFRPE, Brazil | Video | Presentation

Extraordinary aspects of the common marmoset’s life.

In the Northeast region of Brazil, we use to say that is easier to find a marmoset without forest than a forest without a marmoset monkey. At the official evaluation report (data from The Ministry of Environment), the population tendency of the common marmoset is stable, although the population size is unknown. It is estimated that the number of mature individuals of this taxon is more than 10.000 and the groups vary in size from 3 to 15 individuals. The extent of occurrence of the species is greater than 20.000 km2 and it is estimated that its area of occupation is greater than 2.000 km2. The Laboratory of Advanced Studies in Primatology (LEAP) is among the five largest centers of primatology in Brazil, being the largest breeding place of the Callithrix jacchus species. Its activities mainly focused on the research developed by the Graduate Program in Psychobiology. The common marmoset has been found increasingly more distant from his area of endemism, with records crossing all the Brazilian continental border and reaching Argentina. The Brazilian Primates Conservation and Research Center (CPB/ICMBio/MMA) accesses the need to expand studies to develop methods for the control and eradication of the species in areas where it is as allochthonous / invasive, especially in those with presence of endangered taxa. The CPB is responsible for the definition of governmental policies for the use, care, and protection of Brazilian primates. New approaches linking field and captive research are uncovering new aspects of traditional subjects such as gomivory, stress and sensory ecology.

Speaker bio

Maria Adélia Borstelmann de Oliveira is a Full Professor at the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco – UFRPE, where she works since 1984. She holds a bachelor’s degree in UFRPE (1979), Specialist in Conservation and Management of Primates by the University of Brasilia – UNB (1985), Master in Physiology and Pharmacology by Federal University of Pernambuco – UFPE (1985) and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of São Paulo – USP (1998). Acted as Collaborating Researcher of Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA (1993-1994) and Molecular Ecology Laboratory, Queen Mary and Westfield School, London University, UK (1994-2000). She is a founding partner of the Pernambuco Association for the Defense of Nature – ASPAN (1979), where she held several management positions, including Presidency (1990-1994). In the Brazilian Society of Primatology (SBPr) he held a management position in different management positions, including the presidency (2012-2013). She has experience in the area of Zoology, with emphasis on Mammals, especially Primates, on Ecology, Physiology, Behavior and Conservation.

SAVERIO CAPUANO, Wisconsin National Primate Research Center | Video | Presentation

The recent development of powerful, new genomic editing techniques has fueled a significant increase in demand for common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) as biomedical research subjects, while the current supply of animals from established breeding colonies at national primate research centers, academic institutions, and commercial suppliers cannot meet the present or predicted future worldwide demand.  This presentation will provide a summary of the size and number of common marmoset populations currently maintained in North America, South America, Europe, and Japan and will propose ideas for ethically increasing the availability of common marmosets internationally and ensuring the fair and equitable distribution of these animals to scientists funded to utilize them in biomedical and behavioral research.

Speaker bio

Dr. Saverio “Buddy” Capuano, III is a diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine with 36 years of experience working with NHPs, 25 as a veterinarian. As a Primate Medicine Resident and Associate Veterinarian at the California National Primate Research Center from 1993-1998, Dr. Capuano assisted in managing daily husbandry, providing clinical care, and performing experimental support for a large colony of NHPs (3,500 animals).  As the Attending Veterinarian for the Pittsburgh Facility for Infectious Disease Research from 1998-2001, Dr. Capuano provided veterinary care for a large colony of macaques (200) and acted as collaborator and co-investigator on numerous protocols involving a variety of infectious agents (e.g., Simian Immunodeficiency Virus, Human Papilloma Virus, Human Influenza Virus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Listeria monocytogenes, Pneumocystis carinii, and Trypanosoma cruzi) and transgenic vectors.  As the Attending Veterinarian for the Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) from 2001-2005, Dr. Capuano was responsible for the daily clinical care of the animal colony of the MWRI (250 NHPs, 2,000 rodents) and provided experimental support for numerous investigators performing reproductive, stem cell, and cloning research at the Institute.  As Attending Veterinarian and Associate Director of Animal Services of the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center (WNPRC), Dr. Capuano oversees the veterinary, husbandry, and animal research support programs of the Center and develops policies for these units. Dr. Capuano also serves on the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School IACUC and is a member of the WNPRC Senior Management Team. He is also the Director of the current ACLAM-accredited Laboratory Animal Medicine Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and served for several years on the BOD of the Association of Primate Veterinarians (President 2006-2007).

KENTON KERNS, Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute | Video | Presentation

Zoos accredited by the Association of Zoo & Aquariums collaborate to ensure small populations under their care retain genetic diversity with minimal supplementation from new founder animals from the wild. Termed Species Survival Plans® (SSPs), these programs track the pedigree, medical status, and reproductive histories of animals in Studbooks. The SSP coordinator utilizes Studbook information under the guidance of a Population Biologist to create a Breeding and Transfer plan, a document detailing a multi-year strategy of animal shipments and recommended pairings for offspring based on Mean Kinship, a measure of relatedness of an individual to the entire population. Breeding and Transfer Plans direct populations to reach a goal of retaining greater than 90% genetic diversity for 100 years or 10 generations.

Speaker bio

Kenton Kerns is an Assistant Curator at Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Small Mammal House where he oversees the day-to-day running of the unit and cares for a diverse taxa of mammals. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology from American University and has a master’s from George Mason University with a concentration in Zoo and Aquarium Leadership. In 2013 he was awarded Professional of the Year Award from the American Association of Zoo Keepers. He’s published a number of articles of captive animal behavior in AAZK’s Animal Keeper Forum. He is vice-chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Professional Development Committee, vice-chair of the Rodent Taxonomic Advisory Group, and steering committee member of the New World Primate Taxonomic Advisory Group, studbook keeper for golden-headed lion tamarins, and a board member for Save the Golden Lion Tamarin.

JOANNA MALUKIEWICZ, Arizona State University | Video | Presentation

Host and Microbiome Genetic Diversity in Callithrix jacchus and other Brazil Marmosets

This presentation will focus on the genetic and genomic diversity of Brazilian and US populations of Callithrix jacchus and other Callithrix species and hybrids. Additionally, the effect of habitat, host taxonomy, and hybridization on the composition and predictive functional profiles of the Callithrix anal microbiome will be discussed for the above taxa. The former topic will be based on nuclear and mitochondrial data and the latter topic will be based on 16S rRNA sequencing.

YASUHIRO GO, National Institute of Physiology, Japan | Video | Presentation

Dissecting the genetic diversity of Japanese’s marmoset colonies

The common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) is essential for understanding the human brain and for developing knowledge-based strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders. For establishing the primate model for human diseases, we perform massive population genetic analysis for the neuropsychiatric related genes in marmosets in order to identify individuals/families that have spontaneous loss-of-functional (LoF) mutations in the neuropsychiatric genes and aim to make disease marmoset models for the neuropsychiatric disease by crossing the individuals that have a heterozygous LoF mutation. We obtained the polymorphic data from 1328 marmosets across 10 Japanese colonies and identified many candidate individuals that have LoF mutations in a heterozygous manner. Also, we compared the genetic background and composition of marmosets between Japan and US using the available genomic data for further plan to maintain the genetic diversity and found distinct relationships among the colonies between Japan and US. Accumulating such massive polymorphic data in marmosets can give us a useful disease animal model, which can bridge the gap between bench (basic science) and bed (clinical research) and can lead us to understand the biological basis of human neuropsychiatric diseases.

Speaker bio

Yasuhiro Go is a Group leader of Cognitive Genomic Research Group and an Associate Professor of the Exploratory Research Center on Life and Living Systems (ExCELLS) and the National Institute for Physiological Sciences. I received Ph.D. from Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University in 2003, and did postdoctoral researches at the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI) and Harvard University. In 2008, I became a faculty member of the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University and moved to the current position of National Institutes of Natural Sciences in 2013. Current research interest includes primate genomics, evolutionary biology, human evolution, computational biology, neuroscience, and cognitive genomics. Especially, current studies focused on the population genomics in macaques and marmosets for identification of spontaneous mutant monkeys in neuropsychiatric related genes toward establishing primate model for human neuropsychiatric diseases.

JEFFREY ROGERS, Baylor College of Medicine | Video | Presentation

Opportunities to improve genomic information and resources for marmosets

The 2014 publication of the first reference genome sequence for the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) provided the starting point for genomic analysis of this species.  Since that time, both the methods available for generating genomic data and the comparative information available regarding other nonhuman primates have advanced significantly.  It is now practical to produce an improved reference genome sequence and associated annotation that will be both more complete and more accurate than the 2014 reference.  In addition, comparative information suggests that a substantial amount of functionally significant genetic variation is likely to be segregating within captive marmoset colonies, and that this naturally occurring variation will impact efforts to use marmosets for a variety of genetic studies.

Speaker bio

Jeffrey Rogers, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the Human Genome Sequencing Center and Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.  Dr. Rogers received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Yale University, and has worked throughout his career on the genetic and genomic analysis of nonhuman primates.  Dr. Rogers has published 154 peer-reviewed scientific papers and serves as Chair of the Genetic and Genomics Working Group within the NIH National Primate Research Centers Consortium.  He led the projects that produced the first genetic linkage maps for baboons and rhesus macaques.  He was a senior member of the research teams that generated and published the reference genomes for the common marmoset, rhesus macaque, sooty mangabey, mouse lemur and other primate species.  His laboratory has sequenced and analyzed the genomes of >700 rhesus macaques, identifying >70 million single nucleotide variants, as well as small insertion-deletion polymorphisms and gene copy number variation.  Dr. Rogers has applied this information regarding intra-species genetic variation in macaques and other primates to studies that identified novel genetic associations related to behavioral and physiological variation.  He has also contributed to the discovery and development of several new primate models of human disease.

RICARDO DEL ROSARIO, Broad Institute | Video | Presentation

Analyzing genetic diversity in marmoset colonies

As the marmoset becomes widely used as a model organism in the study of many diseases, maintaining the genetic diversity of the marmoset colonies in the US and around the world becomes an important goal.  A marmoset genotyping chip will facilitate the study of genetic diversity and of future genome-wide association studies.  To design a genotyping chip, detecting single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in marmoset colonies is crucial.  To discover SNPs, we performed whole genome sequencing of 81 marmosets from 3 colonies (36 from the New England Primate Research Center (NEPRC), 18 from Biomere, and 28 from CLEA Japan).  We also included 9 publicly available whole genome sequences (5 from Southwest National Primate Research Center, 2 from NEPRC and 2 from Wisconsin National Primate Research Center), and ran a computational pipeline that performed multi-sample SNP discovery. We obtained 5.7 million high quality filtered SNPs (the filters include minor allele frequency and read coverage), and after pruning based on linkage disequilibrium, we obtained 147,000 independent SNPs.  These SNPs can be used as a starting point to design a marmoset genotyping chip and can be augmented with SNPs from other colonies.  The SNPs allowed us to analyze the heterozygosity of each of the three colonies and to analyze runs of homozygosity (which could indicate inbreeding) of each animal.  A principal component analysis of the genotypes showed that the colonies are genetically distinct.  We also computed the Fst, a measure of structure in populations, and obtained a value of 0.12.  This indicates that 88% of the total genetic variation is shared among colonies.  These results show that genotyping a much larger number of marmosets from other colonies will allow a better understanding of the genetic landscape of marmosets and could aid in their breeding strategies.

Speaker bio

Ricardo del Rosario is a computational biologist at the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute.  He leads the marmoset genome project which involves the assembly of a new marmoset genome and whole genome sequencing of marmosets at MIT and Broad.  The new marmoset genome assembly, its genome annotation, and whole genome sequences are needed by scientists working on genetic engineering in marmosets.   Before he joined the Broad Institute, he worked as a research scientist at the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS).  One of his projects at GIS was to study the evolution of regulatory elements in primates.  The marmoset genome was an important species that he used in performing a genome-wide screen for primate-specific constrained sequences.  His work was included in the paper that published the marmoset reference genome. At GIS, he also developed a mathematical method to detect histone acetylation quantitative trait loci in human cohorts.  These are SNPs that affect the acetylation levels of histones (as measured by H3K27ac ChIP-seq) and thus affect the activity of promoters or enhancers. His other experiences include a postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Germany, where he created mathematical models of the bioenergetics of an archaeon Halobacterium salinarum, and an Associate Professor position in mathematics at the University of the Philippines.  He obtained his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from NC State University.

Q&A with the audience | Video

Session 2: Marmosets as Research Models

Introduction: James Pickel, National Institute for Mental Health | Video | Presentation

CORINNA ROSS, Texas A&M University – San Antonio | Video | Presentation

Marmosets as Translational Models for Aging Studies

While advances in medical care have resulted in increased human lifespan, we have made relatively few advances in increasing human healthspan. Additionally, it is now believed that many of the pillars of aging are associated with diseases such as dementia, frailty, and cancer. Treatment of aging systemically will not only increase life span but also reduce age related disease incidence. The use of an animal model to evaluate cellular, mechanistic and phenotypic processes of aging offers the advantage of being able to control environmental exposure to variables including nutrition and infection, as well as maintain lifelong confirmed medical history of the individual. The marmoset offers a unique nonhuman primate model for aging studies. Marmosets have a short lifespan when compared to other primates, they are relatively cheap to house, have high fecundity, and they are small making them easy and safe to handle for experimentation. Marmosets have been found to display many aging phenotypes that mimic human aging including increased risks of cardiovascular changes, inflammatory disease, and decreases in cognition. The emergence of this animal model is particularly important for those interested in examining the effects of early life environment on aging, evaluating the effects of interventions on aging and age-related disease, and those interested in focusing on cognitive changes associated with aging.

Speaker bio

Dr. Corinna Ross is an Associate Professor of Biology at Texas A&M University San Antonio and an Associate Scientist at the Southwest National Primate Research Center at Texas Biomedical Research Institute.  She is also an adjunct professor at the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies at the University of Texas Health San Antonio.  Her work integrates molecular, physiological and behavioral assessment techniques to explore mechanisms that influence developmental programming, health span and longevity in non-human primates.  Dr. Ross has worked with marmosets for more than 20 years and has extensive experience designing phenotyping tools modified either from rodent assessments or from clinical geriatric assessments to assess marmoset activity, strength, feeding patterning, and cognitive function.

JEAN PATTERSON, Texas Biomedical Research Institute | Video | Presentation

Marmoset-based infectious disease research under biocontainment conditions

The marmoset has emerged as an attractive non-human primate (NHP) model for studying biocontainment infectious diseases agents and most recently as a viable NHP model for high containment infectious disease viruses.  The advantages of the marmoset are that they very often mimic human disease, are smaller in size, provide some cost savings over larger NHPs,  and can require less time consuming husbandry.  They have fewer biosafety considerations since they have fewer known endogenous viruses harmful to humans and in particular, they are not carriers of herpes B virus. Marmosets, as models of human disease, have been examined for a variety of pathogens particularly viral pathogens.  They have been proven effective models for equine encephalitis viruses, coronaviruses (MERS and SARS), Lassa fever virus, filoviruses (Ebola and Marburg viruses) and a surrogate of Hepatitis C virus, GBV.  Marmosets have been evaluated as models for flaviviruses particularly dengue virus and most recently Zika virus.  Marmosets have also been shown to be an effective model for mycobacterium tuberculosis.  In a well-maintained and carefully monitored colony, they rarely show any sero-positivity to known human viruses and thus have been used in Koch’s postulate experiments for novel adenoviruses.  In biocontainment, the marmoset is an excellent model for human disease providing the advantages of a small animal model, the immunological repertoire of an NHP and susceptibility to many wild-type human viruses.

Speaker bio

Dr. Jean Patterson served as Chair of Virology and Immunology at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute from 1996-2015. She is a member of the design team that completed construction of a 36,000 square foot laboratory building that holds 12 Biosafety Level 2 labs, three Biosafety Level 3 labs, and one Biosafety Level 4 lab. She is currently the Chair of BSL4 Task Force. Dr. Patterson’s main research interest is medical countermeasures for hemmorhagic fevers and animal models of Zika virus and she serves as Co-Chair of National Primate Centers Working Group on Zika Virus. Dr. Patterson is a member of the National Scientific Advisory Board for Biosecurity.

JAN LANGERMANS, Biomedical Primate Research Center, The Netherlands | Video | Presentation

The common marmoset as a preclinical model for neurological disorders

Aging societies face an increasing prevalence of neurodegenerative disorders, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, for which no cure exists. There is also a need to improve current therapies or develop new ones. The paucity of relevant animal models that faithfully reproduce clinical and pathogenic features of neurodegenerative diseases is a major cause for the lack of effective therapies. Our closest relatives, non-human primates -in particular the marmoset (Callithrix jacchus)-, provide an appropriate model for face and predictive validity owing to the close anatomical and physiological proximity to human. We will discuss a (slow-progressive) MPTP marmoset model of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease that recapitulates most of the core pathogenic mechanisms of the human condition as well as the prodromal stage of the disease for early intervention and an immune-activated amyloid-beta model, that makes use of the natural occurring plaque progression in the marmoset, for the most important hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

Speaker bio

Dr. Jan Langermans  studied Biology at the University of Utrecht, followed by a PhD in Infectious Diseases and Immunology at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands were he worked on intracellular pathogens in vitro and in vivo in rodent models. In 1992, he became Assistant Professor at the Department of Infectious Diseases in Leiden till 1996 when he moved to the Biomedical  Primate Research Center (BPRC) in the Netherlands to work on vaccine development for tropical diseases using non-human primate models.  In 2003, he became  Director of the Experimental Animal facilities of the Animal Sciences Group of Wageningen UR in Lelystad, the Netherlands  and in 2007 Director Biomedical Research at this institute. He was involved in the care and use of small laboratory animals (mice, guinea pigs, rats, poultry) and large animals (e.g. pigs, cattle).  In 2008 he moved back  to the BPRC to become Chairman of the Animal Science Department of this institute and in 2014 Deputy Director. He is responsible for the housing and care of the non-human primates at the institute and related research with respect to veterinary care, animal behavior and well-being and is involved in various research topics, including behavioral research and neurodegenerative diseases.

ERIKA SASAKI, Central Institute for Experimental Animals, Japan | Video | Presentation

Marmoset models production by genome editing

Genome editing technologies have been enabled us to produce animal models by target gene knock-out. Currently, three kinds of artificial nuclease, Zinc Finger nuclease (ZFN), Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nuclease (TALEN) and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats / CRISPR associated proteins (CRISPR/Cas9) are available. Since the CRISPR/Cas9 is easy to use, it is the most popular in mouse models production. However, there are several issues to use in marmosets. In this talk, marmoset-specific genome editing techniques will be introduced.

Speaker bio

Dr. Erika Sasaki is Director in Center of Applied Developmental Biology, Central Institute for Experimental Animals (CIEA). Erika joined CIEA in April 2003 from The Institute of Medical Science (IMS), University of Tokyo where she had been a research associate at Division of Molecular Therapy. Erika was also faculty of Keio University from  2004-2018.She obtained her PhD in University of Tsukuba in 1995 and continued as a post-doctoral research fellow in National Institute of Animal Health, Ministry of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and University of Guelph, Ontario Canada until 2001, when she move to ISM. Her current research focuses on establishing human disease models in genetically modified marmosets for preclinical research and assessing safety and efficacy of regenerative medicines in disease treatment. For this purpose, Erika has generated the world’s first transgenic marmoset with germline transmission in 2009.  For the scientific interest, she is also studying early embryonic development in marmoset and gametogenesis in marmoset to understand the difference between rodents and primates’ early development. Erika has an extensive record of publications, invited lectures, and service activities. Erika has received several awards for her expertise and achievement in this area including Prize for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Andoh-Tajima Award of the Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science. She is an organizing committee member of Japan Society for Marmoset Research and Asia-Oceania Research group for Common marmoset.

AFONSO SILVA, National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke | Video | Presentation

Imaging Brain Anatomy, Function and Disease in Marmosets

The common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) is a small New World monkey that has gained significant recent interest in neuroscience research, due in great part for its compatibility with gene editing techniques, but also due to its tremendous versatility as an experimental animal model. Neuroimaging modalities, including anatomical (MRI) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), complemented by two-photon laser scanning microscopy and electrophysiology, have been at the forefront of unraveling the anatomical and functional organization of the marmoset brain. High resolution anatomical MRI of the marmoset brain can be obtained with remarkable cytoarchitectonic detail. Functional MRI of the marmoset brain has been used to study various sensory systems, including somatosensory, auditory and visual pathways, while resting-state fMRI studies have unraveled functional brain networks that bear great correspondence to those previously described in humans. Two-photon laser scanning microscopy of the marmoset brain has enabled the simultaneous recording of neuronal activity from thousands of neurons with single cell spatial resolution. These neuroimaging techniques have been used to investigate the relationship between brain anatomy and function both in health and in disease models. In this talk, we will review the main results obtained by our group and by our colleagues in applying neuroimaging techniques to study the marmoset brain.

Speaker bio

Dr. Silva received his Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Universidade Federal de Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, and his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Carnegie Mellon University, where he worked on non-invasive MRI measurements of cerebral blood flow using the arterial spin labeling technique. He then went on to do post-doctoral training in the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research at the University of Minnesota, where he studied the temporal and spatial characteristics of functional brain hemodynamics under the supervision of Prof. Seong-Gi Kim. Dr. Silva joined NINDS as a Staff Scientist in 1999, and became an investigator in 2004. His laboratory combines modern neuroimaging techniques (functional MRI, and optical imaging) with electrophysiological recordings aimed at understanding the mechanisms of regulation of cerebral blood flow during normal and stimulation-induced brain activity.

ADAM SHRIVER, Oxford University, United Kingdom | Video | Presentation

A Philosopher’s Perspective on the Ethics of Transgenic and Chimeric Research on Primates

In this presentation, I provide an outline of how philosophers approach ethical questions related to primate research in general and transgenic and chimeric neuroscience research in particular. I outline the basic ethical concepts and frameworks philosophers use in debates about primate research and discuss which types of empirical knowledge about the capacities of primates are relevant under these different frameworks. Finally, I introduce special concerns bioethicists have raised about concepts such as near‐personhood, telos, and bodily integrity in relation to transgenic and chimeric research.

Speaker bio

Adam Shriver is a Research Fellow at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities. Prior to Oxford, he worked at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of British Columbia. Adam’s research examines the intersection of ethics and cognitive science and he has written multiple articles about human well‐being and animal welfare. In particular, Adam’s research has examined the significance of the dissociation between the affective and sensory components of pain for philosophical theories of ethics and well‐being. To this end, Adam has written about the relationship between pain and pleasure, the legal and ethical questions that arise from the search for a neural signature of pain in humans, and the capacity for suffering across different species. He also has research examining the ethics of using genetic modifications in nonhuman animals. Previously, Adam organized a workshop on neuroethics and animals, and he is currently co‐editing a book on the topic.

STEVEN NIEMI, Harvard University | Video | Presentation

An analysis of the ethical imperative of being cognizant of one’s knowledge prior to commencing research with marmosets

This ethical imperative is driven by the relative fragility of marmosets in captivity, amplified by any adverse outcomes due to ignorance or inadequate resources. Conventional oversight measures, such as regulatory compliance, accreditation, and IACUC activities, are not sufficient to ensure adequate preparedness of a research institution before it begins to use these animals. That, in turn, raises the question of which is better for reliable marmoset care and use: extramural expert confirmation or intramural confidence of an institution’s competence? Various elements of this question will be analyzed, with suggestions offered on how to move forward.

Speaker bio

Steve Niemi is Director, Office of Animal Resources and Lecturer, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University Faculty of Arts Sciences, Cambridge, MA. With over 35 years’ experience in biomedical research and commercial biotechnology, he has held senior management positions in contract drug and device development, biotech start-ups in human gene therapy and food animal genomics, and laboratory animal care and assurance. Dr. Niemi is a Diplomate and past president of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, and has served on numerous boards and national task forces addressing medical product development and lab animal welfare. He earned an AB in biology from Harvard College, a DVM from Washington State University, and then received a US Public Health Service National Research Service Award while a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He later completed the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School. A collection of his essays, “Notes in the Category of C: Reflections on the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals”, was recently published by Elsevier.

Q&A with the audience | Video


Day 2: Welcome | Video 

Highlights of the workshop on Transgenic and Chimeric Neuroscience Research: Exploring the Scientific Opportunities Afforded by New Nonhuman Primate Models Marina Emborg | Video | Presentation

Session 3: Marmoset Husbandry

MICHAEL POWER, Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute | Video | Presentation

Marmoset nutritional needs and daily dietary management

There is a long history of concerns over the dietary management of captive common marmosets. Unfortunately, the literature on rigorous nutritional studies of marmosets is relatively thin. Diets vary across colonies of common marmosets in both ingredients and nutrient levels, which may contribute unnecessary variation in experimental outcomes and may play a role in some of the more common clinical diseases seen in this species in captivity. The goals of this talk are: 1) to provide a basic overview of nutrient needs of marmosets in order to inform diet formulation for animals in captivity (primarily in laboratory facilities) and 2) to provide information on practical feeding programs and options.

Speaker bio

Michael Power has been engaged in research on digestion, nutrition, and metabolism in marmosets and tamarins since my doctoral dissertation, and on milk composition since 1994. Over the last twenty years I have been investigating the nutrient composition of milk from many species, ranging from Asian elephants to the pygmy marmoset. More recently my research has expanded to include investigations of hormones and other bioactive molecules in milk and the milk microbiome. I am the curator of the Milk Repository at the Smithsonian, which contains milk samples from over 200 mammals. I am a Co-PI on NIH-sponsored research into the relationships between diet, digestion and health in the common marmoset.

NANCY CAINE, California State University-San Marcos | Video | Presentation

Marmoset-specific behaviors and enrichment

I will summarize important features of the natural history of marmosets, touching on evolution, taxonomy, behavioral ecology, and behavior in the wild and in semi-natural captive conditions. I will attempt to apply what we know about these topics to humane care and use of marmosets in biomedically-oriented captive settings.

Speaker bio

Dr. Nancy Caine earned a Ph.D. in Comparative Psychology at UC Davis, studying large social groups of macaques. She did postdoctoral work at the University of Colorado Medical Center before taking a faculty position at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.  It was there that she began to work with callitrichid primates, doing controlled studies of their reactions to predatory threat. For the last 25 years Dr. Caine has been at California State University San Marcos where she has continued her work with captive populations of marmosets housed in naturalistic environments, publishing studies on topics ranging from the function of color vision to group-mediated anti-predator behavior. She is interested in “translational ethology,” whereby our understanding of the evolved behavioral adaptations of primates can be brought to bear in captive management. Dr. Caine has served in leadership roles in both the American Society of Primatologists (President from 1998 to 2000) and the International Primatological Society (Secretary General from 2008 to 2018).

DAVID ABBOTT, Wisconsin National Primate Research Center | Video | Presentation

Controlling Ovarian Cycle Onset in Female Marmosets in the Context of New World Primate Reproductive Endocrinology

Characteristic of anthropoid primates, including humans, female common marmosets exhibit approximately monthly ovarian cycles. In contrast to many anthropoid primates, however, female marmosets ovulate 2-3 oocytes per cycle, enabling atypically high fecundity. Luteolysis is reliably induced by prostaglandin F2alpha analogue and GnRH antagonist, terminating cycles or early pregnancies within 1-2 days. Such control can be performed in consecutive cycles or early pregnancies across many months to years. Rapid, 4h enzymeimmunoassays permit same day confirmation of cycle phase from plasma progesterone concentrations (<10 ng/ml = follicular phase). Exaggerated expression of select cytoplasmic proteins, however, typical of New World primates, diminish access of female sex steroid hormones to intra-cellular cognate receptors and subsequently to response elements on gene promoter sites. Pituitary chorionic gonadotropin (CG) and not luteinizing hormone, enables dominant follicle progression, ovulation and support of 2-3 corpora lutea, while placental CG provides primate-typical pregnancy recognition. Continuing refinement of ovarian hypergonadotropic stimulation protocols will optimize number and quality of oocytes for assisted conception of genetically modified offspring.

Speaker bio

Dr. Abbott is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Senior Scientist at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison. He brings 40 years of experience employing rodent, primate and exotic species models of female reproductive endocrinology to determine pathophysiological mechanisms underlying a variety of reproductive health disorders commonly found in women. He led one of the first studies demonstrating social dominance regulation of ovulation in a female primate, the common marmoset, leading to a series of mechanistic studies delineating sensory, behavioral and neuroendocrinological mechanisms that did not involve stress responses. Additional containment of female marmoset success was found to derive from avoidance of close kin mating and female-mediated infanticide. More recently, Dr. Abbott has explored the molecular underpinnings of female marmoset sexual behavior, to better inform therapeutic development aimed at ameliorating sexual dysfunction in women. Building on his knowledge of female primate ovarian cycles, he has collaborated to develop two rhesus macaque models for the highly prevalent infertility and diabetogenic polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women: fetal testosterone programming and naturally occurring hyperandrogenism. His current collaborations involve knockdown of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) expression in the hypothalamus of adult female marmosets using viral vector technology. The aim is to establish ERα as the ER regulating metabolic, sexual and pituitary-ovarian function in female primates, including women, and encourage better targeted therapeutics for regulation of weight, sexual desire and ovulation.

TAKASHI INOUE, Central Institute for Experimental Animals, Japan | Video | Presentation

Trials of microbiological control in common marmosets

Microbiological control is one of the important issues in marmoset husbandry. Marmosets have relatively little problems of severe infectious disease these days. However, health problems caused by opportunistic pathogens have remained and SPF in marmosets has been controversial. In our colony, Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has emerged and fecal microbiota transplantation has been tried to control intestinal microbiota against CDI. On the other hand, we tried highly microbiological control through a caesarian section to generate severe combined immunodeficient marmosets and germfree marmosets. In this talk, I will introduce our experiences in these trails to the following discussions with this issue.

Speaker bio

Takashi Inoue is Laboratory Head of Disease Model Animal Laboratory, Marmoset Research Department, the Central Institute for Experimental Animals (CIEA), Japan. He has been working on veterinary care and support of managing daily husbandry and animal experiments in the marmoset facility of CIEA since 2007. He is a diplomate of the Japanese College of Laboratory Animal Medicine since 2015. He received phD in Veterinary Medicine from Graduate School of Hokkaido University in 2008.

JACO BAKKER, Biomedical Primate Research Center, The Netherlands | Video | Presentation

Options for harmonization of Marmoset husbandry – a global perspective

Increasing attention has been given to the influence of housing and husbandry on the behavior and welfare of laboratory animals as well as on the integrity of scientific research. Marmosets have, to some extent, escaped the same genetic, rearing and environmental standardization that is seen with the majority of laboratory rodents. Innovation in enrichment (e.g., outside enclosures, manipulanda, visual and auditory enrichment) is designed to enhance wellbeing. However, the effect of this variation in housing, together with different rearing conditions, weaning policies, husbandry and other practices has not been systematically quantified and its impact on the scientific outcome is not known. To ensure socially well-adjusted marmosets that can cope with the challenges they will face in experimentation and to ensure valid and reliable scientific data, greater harmonization in marmoset husbandry should be encouraged.

International harmonization of existing guidelines for the use of marmosets is essential to provide good principles to promote high standards in the husbandry of marmosets used in research and teaching. In addition, communication and partnership among national, regional, and international organizations will ensure the global harmonization of the use of marmosets. Although each country should be able to maintain an animal welfare oversight system that reflects its own culture, tradition, religion, laws, and regulations, it is also important that each country recognizes and implements international core principles for the care and use of marmosets.

Speaker bio

Dr. Jaco Bakker, DVM in companion animals. Immediately after graduation in 2002, he was employed at the Biomedical Primate Research Centre (BPRC), Rijswijk, the Netherlands as a veterinarian. At the BPRC, he was and is involved in general animal care, enrichment programmes, reviewing research protocols, disease monitoring (preventive medicine), new treatment options for the animals, breeding programmes and public education. Over the years, he has worked with several primate species including owl monkeys (Aotus trivirgatus), chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), cotton top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus), cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis), rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) and marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). Although knowledge of primate medicine has increased considerably over the last decades, especially in the field of welfare management, improvements can still be made. Jaco started a PhD programme aimed at further improvement of veterinary care and welfare management of marmosets, leading to the animals’ better health. In 2017 he successful finished his PhD at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, entitled ‘veterinary care and welfare management of common marmosets’. Apart from his projects on marmosets, he was and still is actively involved in research in the other nonhuman primate species at the BPRC to improve veterinary care and welfare management. On these topics he set up a number of (inter)national collaborations with veterinary groups, which have already resulted in various joint publications and invitations to present his research.

Q&A with the audience | Video

Session 4: Marmoset Veterinary/Clinical Care

CASEY FITZ, Wisconsin National Primate Research Center | Video | Presentation

Colony Health Management

An overview of marmoset colony health management will be presented.  Topics including frequency of physical exams, diagnostic testing, and staffing will be addressed.  Examples of solutions to different challenges will be provided to help address the unique demands of managing a colony of common marmosets.

Speaker bio

Dr. Fitz attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an undergraduate with a major in Zoology and Biological Aspects of Conservation.  He went on to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine receiving a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation Dr. Fitz completed an ACLAM approved post-doctoral residency in Laboratory Animal Medicine at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Fitz has worked with marmosets at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center for over 15 years.

JESSICA IZZI, Johns Hopkins University | Video | Presentation

Clinical Concerns in the Common Marmoset

Marmosets present with a number of unique clinical challenges as compared to other nonhuman primates. This session will focus on the most common diseases and clinical presentations that occur in captive marmoset colonies, including gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal diseases. Preventive measures and treatment strategies will be reviewed.

Speaker bio

Jessica Izzi, DVM, MLAS, DACLAM is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery within Research Animal Resources at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Izzi obtained her Master of Laboratory Animal Science degree from the Drexel University College of Medicine, received her DVM degree from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, and completed her postdoctoral training in laboratory animal medicine at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to returning to a faculty position at Johns Hopkins, she spent 2 years at the NIH as a clinical veterinarian in the Division of Veterinary Resources. She has 5 years of clinical and surgical experience with marmosets and serves as the primary clinical veterinarian for the common marmoset breeding and research colony at Johns Hopkins.

ANNA GOODROE, University of Houston | Video | Presentation

Anesthesia and Analgesia

The common marmoset’s small size and unique physiology have shaped the anesthesia and analgesia regimens utilized for both clinical and research needs.  An overview of regimens currently utilized by multiple research institutions will be presented.

Speaker bio

Dr. Anna Goodroe completed her Bachelors in Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University.  She completed a Clinical Laboratory Animal Medicine Residency at Johns Hopkins University and was granted the title of Diplomate from the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine.  She has worked with common marmosets at both Johns Hopkins University and Wisconsin National Primate Research Center.

MONIKA BURNS, MIT | Video | Presentation

Reproductive Management in Common Marmoset Colonies

Many challenges face clinicians and technical staff managing breeding colonies of common marmosets. This session will focus on clinical issues related to reproduction and breeding colony management commonly encountered in research colonies of common marmosets. Methods of contraception, pregnancy diagnosis, management of dystocia, and infant care will be discussed.

Speaker bio

Dr. Monika Burns, DVM, DACLAM is a Senior Research/Clinical Veterinarian with primary clinical responsibility for the common marmoset colony at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA. Dr. Burns joined the staff of the Division of Comparative Medicine at MIT following completion of the MIT DCM postdoctoral training program in comparative medicine. Prior to her training at MIT, she received her DVM degree from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and completed her undergraduate work at Tufts University. Her clinical and research interests include primate reproductive biology and assisted reproductive technologies.

KEITH MANSFIELD, Novartis | Video | Presentation

Pathology of marmoset diseases

The common marmoset is a small neotropical primate increasingly utilized in biomedical research. This species has a number of unique genetic and physiologic characteristics that translate to distinct disease entities and susceptibilities. Investigators and veterinarians working with common marmosets should be aware of these differences and how they may impact research programs and colony health.

Speaker bio

Keith Mansfield is Executive Director and Global Lead of Molecular Pathology at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.  Prior to joining Novartis, Keith was an Associate Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School.  He was Principal Investigator of a number of NIH grants funded through NIAID, NIA and NIDDK and was a permanent member and Chair of the NIH Comparative Medicine Review Committee.  During this time he was Director of a T32 NIH training grant in comparative pathology and mentored a number of post graduate veterinarians. His research was focused on the experimental pathology of infectious diseases and he is author/co-author on more than 200 peer reviewed research publications. Since joining Novartis in 2011, he has led a molecular pathology laboratory utilizing precision models in drug discovery and development.   He obtained his bachelor and D.V.M. degrees from Cornell University and is currently an Adjunct Professor at Cornell University, School of Veterinary Medicine. He trained in veterinary pathology at Harvard Medical School and is board certified in veterinary pathology by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists.

Q&A with the audience | Video


Session 5: Q&A with the audience | Video

Session 6: Q&A with the audience

Closing Remarks