Integrated Vervet/AGM Research & Resources

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Systems Biology in the Vervet Research Colony (VRC)

The Vervet Research Colony (VRC), located at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC, encourages collaborations by investigators wishing to conduct research with Caribbean origin, African green monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops). The VRC is supported by the National Center for Research Resources and is a fully pedigreed and genotyped breeding colony containing more than 500 individuals ranging in age from newborn through 25 years. The VRC is available to investigators wishing to conduct pedigree-wide assessments or requiring on-site or remote access to the extensive genetic and phenotypic databases that are currently available. The VRC places a high priority on multi-system collaborations in which investigators integrate their data collections with others that are underway. Current studies at the VRC include those relating to cardiometabolic disorders (diabetes, hypertension, obesity), infectious disease (influenza, plague, simian immunodeficiency virus), neuroscience (cognitive function, substance abuse, psychiatric abnormalities), and general studies in reproductive medicine (timing and determinants of menarche and menopause), and aging (functional deficits, changes in body composition, immune senescence).
Contact Dr. Jay R. Kaplan, Director (


The prospect of well powered linkage and association studies of a wide range of biomedically important traits provides the impetus for the generation of vervet genetic and genomic resources.
While large-scale investigations of vervet phenotypes are planned or underway in a number of different populations, the most extensive phenotype data currently available are from the Vervet Research Colony (VRC). A Living Inventory of the VRC is now under development, and will ultimately permit online searching of several behavioral and biological measures, together with genotype and gene expression data.
Structural MRI data obtained for almost 400 VRC monkeys are already available.

- UCLA and Wake Forest Vervet Research Colony Living Inventory

UCLA and Wake Forest maintain a registry, data base and data inventory for their Vervet Research Colony whose members are involved in a wide range of physiological, behavioral and genetic studies. The inventory is designed to enable researchers to see at a glance what samples and measures are available for each animal in colony and also flags animals with unusual phenotypes that may be especially valuable for particular research projects.
The Living Inventory contains an extensive Data Dictionary giving detailed descriptions of the available measures.
The Monkey Availability Table indicates which classes of information (morphometric, behavioral, MRI, genetic, etc.) are available for each animal. Rollovers on the cells in the table provide detailed information about the availability of individual measures and unusual phenotypes.

- Anatomic Atlases

( Require an SVG enabled browser, Firefox strongly recommended )
Anatomically labeled cryomacrotome atlas:  arrow
Matched averaged MRI atlas:  arrow
Individual MRI images in atlas space:  arrow


Characterization of the vervet intestinal microbiome (Genome Quebec)

Human beings have evolved a symbiotic relationship with intestinal microbes to aid in digestion and nutrition and to protect against and combat infectious diseases. Advances in massively parallel DNA sequencing technologies now provide the opportunity to catalog the diversity of micro-organisms inhabiting the intestinal tract, as well as to monitor how these microbial communities change due to differences in age, sex, diet, and disease. As a complement to the Human Microbiome Project (HMP), this project, led by Dr. Ken Dewar at McGill University (, is using the vervet monkey to assess microbial community structure at seven key sites along the small and large intestines in males and females at four developmental stages.
Our goal is to evaluate how microbial content evolves along the intestinal tract and measure its variability among different animals. By comparing our results with stool samples, which are the most easily available and least invasive materials used in most studies, we are assessing the accuracy of using fecal samples to interpret microbial content throughout the intestinal tract.
Please follow the link below to access the project progress report. The report shows the real-time progress of all activities and shares links to more detailed presentations, images, data and assemblies.

Project report  arrow

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