The National Institutes of Health (NIH) May 26 released a notice limiting the permissible types of research involving chimpanzees. As of May 25, NIH will not fund any new or competing grants involving chimpanzees, with the exception of “noninvasive research,” which includes visual observation and behavioral studies.
Research applications proposing the use of chimpanzees will additionally be subject to an updated agency review process. NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., announced last year that NIH would no longer maintain a colony of chimpanzees or support biomedical research on those animals. He noted the decisions were “specific to chimpanzees” and that “research with other non-human primates will continue to be valued, supported, and conducted by the NIH.”
The NIH Office of Science Policy will be holding a workshop on Sept. 7 to ensure the continued responsible oversight of research with non-human primates, and is soliciting comments on possible discussion topics in advance of the meeting.