With the help of fellow universities and University of Wisconsin
students, the UW Primate Center is continuing to produce innovative
<p>According to Joseph Kemnitz, director of the Wisconsin
National Primate Research Center, the center is currently working
on several areas of research.
<p>”This is a wonderful time to be director,” Kemnitz
<p>Kemnitz said current research is seeking to improve
understanding of Parkinson’s disease by studying stem cells. The
center is also looking at other conditions such as juvenile
diabetes, blood disorders and metabolic disorders, among
<p>Kemnitz said UW students have played an integral role
in a large portion of the research.
<p>”There are quite a few undergrads who do research,”
Kemnitz said, adding that some work as hourly employees. Others
volunteer to gain research experience by doing assistance work and
independent projects largely of their own design, he said.
<p>”Often times [student projects] lead to publications,
which can be productive and helpful for career development,”
<p>Kemnitz feels UW’s situation is unique because its
primate center is located right on campus along with a broad base
of biological-science departments such as the medical and
<p>”Other primate centers are located way off campus,
making it more difficult for students to interact,” Kemnitz
<p>The UW Primate Center is also distinctive because of
its library and information collection.
<p>”UW is regarded as the international [informational]
center of primatology, and for that we are proud,” Kemnitz
<p>All of the research facilities located at universities
across the country collaborate with each other, each adding its own
unique specialized results, according to the criteria set by the
funding body, the National Center for Research Resources of the
National Institutes of Health.
<p>”Because we are part of a national program, we have a
quite a bit of interaction (with the other centers) to make sure
our programs are coordinated,” Kemnitz said. “The other directors
and I get together in person two or three times a year and speak on
the phone monthly.”
<p>Not all feel that animal research is fair to the
animals used in them.
<p>The Madison Coalition for Animal Rights is a student
organization at UW that uses education and active campaigning to
advocate for humane animal conditions.
<p>UW sophomore Jessica Chavez joined the organization at
the beginning of the fall semester. She believes the primates used
are just like humans and should be treated the same way.
<p>”I think we need to step back and look at what we’re
doing,” Chavez said, adding that there are many unnecessary
experiments that could be accomplished in other ways, such as using
human subjects. “Researchers should not be so quick to [use] primates in research.”
<p>Kemnitz believes people have the right to disagree with
animal research. Many people believe primate research plays an
important role in bettering human and animal health.
<p>”A federal law requires that before any research can be
done, a review of the appropriate and humane use of the animals
must be done,” Kemnitz said. “Annual progress reports are usually