Yerkes National Primate Research Center

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Imagine a world without Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. A world where few people have heard of AIDS. Researchers at Yerkes National Primate Research Center not only can imagine this healthier world but also are working every day to find ways to prevent, treat, and cure these and many other illnesses. Yerkes is one of only eight centers designated by the National Institutes of Health as a national primate research resource, which makes it a leader in basic and translational studies, and Yerkes leads the nation in the compassionate care of animals in research environments. Gifts to Yerkes help open new avenues of research, educate and train promising young scientists, and engage the public more fully in the center’s work.

Giving Opportunities

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Director’s Priorities

Yerkes is a leader among the nation’s primate research centers, an advocate for quality care of animals in research, and a resource to researchers worldwide. Philanthropy is crucial to Yerkes’ ability to open new avenues of research, educate and train talented scientists, and engage the public more fully in its work and scientific advancements.

Director R. Paul Johnson outlines some of Yerkes fundraising priorities below.

Endowed chairs. Endowments provide the ability to attract well-established research teams, and they support the recruitment of junior scientists. Yerkes seeks endowed chairs in genetics, immunology, translational neuroscience, and other areas.

Graduate student fellowships. The center has established the Stuart Zola Graduate Fellowship in Neuroscience to honor the long-term leadership of previous director Stuart Zola, his successful career as a researcher, and his unwavering commitment to supporting the training of neuroscientists. Donations to this fellowship will help fund at least one neuroscience graduate student each year and will make a difference in the lives of those who will benefit from their research. 

Educational outreach. Part of Yerkes’ mission is to provide educational opportunities for students. Current programs take researchers into the community and bring high school students and teachers into the center for hands-on experience and curriculum support. Funding is crucial to these outreach activities.

Service cores. Yerkes is home to several service cores, including a state-of-the-art imaging core. Support for these cores helps make Yerkes an internationally recognized leader in biomedical and behavioral studies with nonhuman primates.

Renovation. One of Yerkes’ greatest unfunded needs is renovation of research and animal housing facilities at its main center and field station.

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