Yerkes National Primate Research Center

R. Paul Johnson, MD, Director
(founded 1930)

Dedicated to discovering causes, preventions, treatments, and cures, Yerkes National Primate Research Center (NRPC) is fighting diseases and improving human health and lives worldwide. One of only seven NPRCs funded by the NIH, Yerkes conducts studies that make breakthrough discoveries possible. Yerkes research involves 1,000 nonhuman primates at its main center on the Emory campus and another 2,000 at its field station in Lawrenceville, Ga. The center also has 10,000 rodents in its research vivaria. 

Yerkes has 360 staff members, 55 faculty scientists, and 154 students participating in research programs. Supported by $79.1 million in research funding (all sources) in fiscal year 2016, Yerkes ranks first in NIH funding among national primate centers. Yerkes grounds its research in scientific integrity, expert knowledge, respect for colleagues, an open exchange of ideas, and compassionate, quality animal care. Researchers are making landmark discoveries in microbiology and immunology; neurologic diseases; neuropharmacology; behavioral, cognitive, and developmental neuroscience; and psychiatric disorders. The center's research focuses on vaccines for infectious and noninfectious diseases, the basic neurobiology and genetics of social behavior, and new treatment strategies for improving social functioning in autism spectrum disorder. Research also seeks to interpret brain activity through imaging, pave the way for treatments of life-changing illnesses such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, unlock the secrets of memory, teach us how interactions between genetics and environment shape who we are, and advance knowledge about evolutionary links between biology and behavior. Since 1984, the center has been fully accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International, regarded as the gold seal of approval for laboratory animal care.