Primate Biology

Robert Norgren portrait

Robert Norgren

The Norgren lab is focused on applying genomics to nonhuman primate models of human disease. The lab has developed a number of key resources necessary for nonhuman primate research including a Rhesus Macaque Genome Array (in collaboration with Affymetrix) for gene expression studies and a new rhesus macaque genome assembly and annotation which is widely used for NextGen sequencing studies with this species. In collaboration with the Byrareddy lab, we are looking at the interaction of the microbiome with rhesus macaques in health and disease. Rhesus macaques are important animal models for the study of vaccines and therapeutics for infectious diseases such as HIV.

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Siddappa Byareddy portrait

Siddappa Byrareddy
  • Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center

The Byrareddy lab research activities include understanding of host-virus dynamics, pathogenesis and prevention strategies of Human/Simian Immunodeficiency viruses (HIV/SIV) and other infectious diseases in general using Non-Human Primate models. We recently showed that by blocking of α4β7 integrin, using an antibody against α4β7 (a gut homing molecule) provided sustain virological control in SIV macaque models, emphasizing an importance of gut hemostasis in controlling infection. Current research includes evaluating connection of microbiome-gut-brain axis to understand host immune homeostasis and developing therapeutics for gut-brain disorders. 

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Jeffrey A. French portrait

Jeffrey A. French

Dr. French's research focuses on the neuroendocrine regulation of social behavior, stress, and cognition in marmosets, an important translational primate model for human behavior and mental health. The closest genetic relatives of humans (chimpanzees and gorillas) are primarily fruit and plant eaters, but marmoset feeding ecology, like the typical human diet, consists of an omnivorous diet of animal protein (~ 25% of food intake), fruits and leaves (25%), and complex carbohydrates (50%). The marmoset gut microbiome likely has diversity and complexity similar to the human the human microbiome. There is an intimate communication between the gut and the brain (via the enteric nervous system, immune signals, and metabolic and appetite-regulating hormones), and this communication is modulated in important ways by the gut microbiome.

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