On February 1, the National Institutes of Health took its next step in deciding what to do with chimpanzees owned or supported by federal research funds. Under the timeline they set out, they are at least 18 months away from establishing the new federal policy, but they are not approving any new research in the meantime. And the Alamogordo chimpanzees remain in limbo.
NIH set up a working group to advise NIH on how to implement the recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in their report Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research: Assessing the Necessity. Specifically, the Working Group on the Use of Chimpanzees in NIH-supported Research will
· develop a plan to implement IOM’s guiding principles and criteria;
· analyze active NIH-supported chimpanzee research, advise on which studies do and don't meet the criteria, and develop a process for closing studies that don't comply; and
· advise NIH on the size and placement of active and inactive chimpanzees.
The NIH anticipates that the working group will present its final report in early 2013. After the Council considers the report and recommendations, the NIH will subsequently open a 60-day public comment period.
Who are the men and women on the working group? Sure, NIH appointed people who have used chimps in bioinvasive research, but it appears that not everyone on the working group is invested in continuing current policies. They appointed people representing a range of interests that will have to be considered in moving forward.
Working group membership
Dr. Daniel Geschwind, MD, PhD (co-chair), University of California - Los Angeles
A biomedical researcher who conducts research on chimps to identify gene networks that correlate to specific brain regions. http://geschwindlab.neurology.ucla.edu/index.php/in-the-news/16-news/45-livesciencefoxp2
Dr. K.C. Kent Lloyd, DVM, PhD (co-chair), University of California – Davis
A research physiologist with expertise in targeted mutagenesis of the laboratory mouse. http://ccm.ucdavis.edu/profiles/lloyd.html
Ms. R. Alta Charo, JD, University of Wisconsin Law School
The Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she is on the faculty of the Law School and the Department of Medical History and Bioethics at the medical school. http://email@example.com
Dr. Beatrice Hahn, MD, University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine
Used non-invasive research with wild chimpanzees to prove the origin of AIDS. http://bhamweekly.com/birmingham/article-619-beatrice-hahn-finding-the-origin-of-aids.html
Dr. Stanley Lemon, MD, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Co-author of hepatitis research performed in chimpanzees at Texas Biomed's Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) and funded by the National Institutes of Health. http://www.hivandhepatitis.com/hep_c/news/2011/0708_2011_c.html
Dr. Daniel J. Povinelli, PhD, University of Louisiana, New Iberia Research Center
Comparative psychologist involved in the development of the first National Chimpanzee Observatory, a network of naturalistic observatories to serve as an educational facility and behavioral research center. http://ulceet.com/site98.php
Dr. Charles Rice, PhD, Rockefeller University
Uses bioinvasive techniques on chimps for hepatitis C research. http://www.blogger.com/goog_1233280764
Dr. Stephen Ross, PhD, Lincoln Park Zoo
Assistant Director, Lester Fisher Center for the Study & Conservation of Apes, he is a behavior specialist dedicated to assessing and managing effects of captive environments on ape welfare. http://www.lpzoo.org/conservation-science/resources/staff-bios/stephen-ross-phd
Dr. Patricia Turner, MSc, DVM, DVSc, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph
The president of the Association of Primate Veterinarians, she was the inaugural recipient of the Procter & Gamble/Humane Society of the United States – North American Animal Welfare Award in 2007. http://www.worldvet.org/node/5219