The School of Medicine has relationships with many metro-Atlanta medical institutions and centers. Cooperation in teaching schedules, research, and collaborative project efforts are maintained with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the joint Emory/Georgia Institute of Technology Department of Biomedical Engineering-one of the top programs of its kind in the nation¿and other area medical facilities and institutions.
One of eight national primate research centers funded by the NIH, Yerkes National Primate Research Center provides leadership, training, and resources to foster scientific creativity, collaboration, and discoveries.
Supported by $48.3 million in funding, Yerkes's research program includes 141 research awards. Studies involve 3,400 nonhuman primates. Approximately 1,300 of the animals are at the main center on the Emory campus, and another 2,100 are at a 117-acre satellite facility in Lawrenceville, Georgia. The center also has 7,000 rodents in its research vivariums.
Yerkes has 350 staff members, 150 faculty scientists, 150 graduate and undergraduate students participating in research programs, and 58 postdoctoral fellows.
Yerkes -based research programs are seeking ways to: develop vaccines for infectious and noninfectious diseases; treat drug addiction; interept brain activity through imaging; increase understanding of progressive illnesses such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson diseases; unlock the secrets of memory; determine how the interaction between genetics and society shape who we are; and advance knowledge about the evolutionary links between biology and behavior. Yerkes is making landmark discoveries in microbiology and immunology, neuroscience, psychobiology, and sensory-motor systems. One of the center's primary goals continues to be developing an AIDS vaccine.
Other research focuses on progressive illnesses such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, memory, drug addiction, behavioral effects of hormone replacement therapy, vision disorders, evolutionary links between biology and behavior, and interpretation of brain activity through imaging. Yerkes is the only U.S. primate center to have on-site MRI, PET, and cyclotron facilities.
Collaboration is key to Yerkes research. At the Living Links Center, scientists collaborate to study the animal roots of human social behaviors, such as cooperation, affiliation, and reconciliation. Yerkes researchers who also are members of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience (CBN) collaborate with scientists from the CBN's consortium of eight Atlanta-based institutions in research and education.
Because of their similarity to humans in genetic makeup, behavior, and organ-system function, nonhuman primates provide irreplaceable opportunities to better understand, prevent, and treat human disease.
Since 1946 Emory students and faculty have benefited from the university's membership in Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), a consortium of ninety-six colleges and universities and a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. ORAU works with its member institutions to help their students and faculty gain access to federal research facilities throughout the country; to keep its members informed about opportunities for fellowship, scholarship, and research appointments; and to organize research alliances among its members.
Through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, the DOE facility that ORAU operates, undergraduates, graduates, postgraduates, and faculty enjoy access to a variety of study and research opportunities. Many of these programs are especially designed to increase the number of underrepresented minority students pursuing degrees in science and engineering.
ORAU's Office of Partnership Development seeks opportunities for partnerships and alliances among ORAU members, private industry, and major federal facilities. Activities include faculty development programs, consortium research funding initiatives, faculty research and support programs, and services for chief research officers.
For more information about ORAU and its programs, call 865.576.3306 or visit www.orau.org. Information is also available from Frank Stout, vice president for research administration at Emory and ORAU councilor for the university.