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Nonhuman Primate Tissue Bank Handbook

NIA, part of NIH, has developed a repository of tissue collected from nonhuman primate (NHP) species under contractual arrangement with Wisconsin National Primate Research Center (WI NPRC). Tissues are available as:

  • Fresh frozen (stored at –80 degrees Celsius)
  • Fixed blocks
  • Slides from fixed blocks
  • Fresh frozen in OCT medium (on a limited basis)

Tissue from NIA's Nonhuman Primate Tissue Bank is available to NIH-funded investigators at academic and nonprofit research institutions who are engaged in funded research on aging. The project name and funding source must accompany all orders. The NIA will not be able to ship non-human primate tissue outside of the United States or US territories. Investigators at for-profit entities are not eligible to purchase tissue from NIA's Nonhuman Primate Tissue Bank unless it is for a Small Business Innovation Research grant from NIA.  Tissue is provided for eligible studies at no cost to the investigator.

Contact Information

Biological Resources Branch (BRB)
National Institute on Aging
National Institutes of Health
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, GW 2C231
Bethesda, MD 20892

Tracy Cope
Health Scientist Specialist, NHP Tissue Bank
Phone: 301-451-3857
Fax: 301-402-5997

Effective October 1, 2004

Available Tissue

NIA's Nonhuman Primate Tissue Bank collects and archives tissue from necropsies performed at primate centers nationwide. The goal is to collect various tissues from aged monkeys with smaller amounts of the same tissues from young and middle-aged monkeys. Tissue will be provided as: (1) fresh frozen, stored at –80 degrees Celsius; (2) formalin fixed; or (3) fresh frozen tissue in OCT medium.Most frozen tissues are provided in approximately 1 gram of tissue per vial. Fixed tissue is available as slides (sections) from paraffin-embedded blocks. Slides can be stained if requested.

Because of the types and amounts of tissue available from each animal, investigators should contact Tracy Cope ( to inquire about availability.

Vital Statistics Information Sheet

Orders will be accompanied by a Vital Statistics Information Sheet for each animal. The Vital Statistics Information Sheet includes the following:

  • Accession number
  • Species
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Weight (if known)
  • Health status

NIA provides the health information as given by the donor site and cannot guarantee other aspects of the health status not explicitly stated in the Vital Statistics Information Sheet. Concerns about the specific health status of donor animals should be indicated on the order form.

Ordering Instructions

To determine availability of tissues, investigators should e-mail Tracy Cope ( before submitting orders.

Order Form available in PDF (94K) or accessible MS Word (39K)

Orders must be placed through NIA by e-mail and must be submitted on the NIA Nonhuman Primate Tissue Bank Order Form. All information requested on the order form must be provided.

Primates harbor a number of known pathogens that pose serious health risks to humans, and it is unlikely that all potential human pathogens harbored by primates have been identified. Any person handling this material should review: The National Institutes of Health/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Research Laboratories”, published by NIH/CDC of the US DHHS and available from the Superintendent of Documents. Frozen nonhuman primate samples MUST be handled, at a minimum, at Biosafety Level 2. People with compromised immune systems may be at increased risk. Although several primate pathogens can cause serious human disease, of particular concern is Macacine herpes virus 1 (formerly “Herpes B virus”). Since it can be present in clinically normal macaques, Macacine herpes virus is present in most macaque colonies and this virus is known to cause a potentially fatal disease in humans.

Complete orders received by NIA no later than Noon Wednesday Eastern Time typically can expect next-week delivery, depending on availability. Acknowledgement of order receipt will be sent (via fax or e-mail) to the contact person within 2 business days of receipt of the finalized order. If an acknowledgement is not received within this timeframe, contact the BRB.

Note: If there are problems with the order status, the BRB Order Desk must be contacted within 24 hours of order receipt. Replacements or credits will only be provided for incorrectly filled orders or orders lost due to shipping problems.