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Report of program activities : National Institutes of Health. Division of Research Resources (Volume 1975) online

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serologic test (complement fixation) for experimentally and spontaneously



19



■ '!.



infected rabbits. The advantage of the complement fixation test is that
it is more quantitative than the immunfluorescence test and is applicable
to a variety of antigenic fractions. A study currently in progress is
comparing the sensitivity of skin tests and serological tests. Comparative
studies from human material resulted in the observation that two
spontaneous human cases of microsporidosis were due to microsporida be-
longing to the genus Nosema rather than to the mammalian genus
Encephalitozoon . These observations suggest that more emphasis should
be given to using immunologically incompetent animals in the safety testing
of insect Nosema intended for use as biological pesticides and for dis-
tribution into the environment. It is possible that the important
human pathogen is the genus Nosema rather than Encephalitozoon as
previously assumed.



REFERENCE CENTERS AND INFORMATION PROJECTS

The Program has continued to support several reference centers and
information projects. Examples of these are:

1. A Simian Virus Reference Laboratory at the Southwest Foundation
for Research and Education, San Antonio, Texas. The Laboratory
now has a working repository of over 60 virus reference reagents
and reference antiserums. Ongoing activities of the project are
designed to give information regarding the immune status of sub-
human primates and the possible cause of outbreaks of overt
diseases. Institutions throughout the country have taken
advantage of this program. For example, during the past year,

48 laboratories submitted nearly 2400 specimens for antibody
surveys or virus isolation and identification.

2. The Registry of Comparative Pathology, located at the
Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) . The Registry
has continued to augment its collection of specimens from
primates and other laboratory animals, domestic and wild
animals, fish and birds. Material has been made available
to others and utilized for the preparation of exhibits,
lantern and microscopic slide sets, and as the basis for a
number of publications. In addition to publication of a
quarterly "Comparative Pathology Bulletin," the Registry
sponsors publication of an animal model in each issue of the
American Journal of Pathology. A handbook entitled "Animal
Models of Human Disease" has been prepared for sale. Three
fasciles covering 45 models have been published so far and a
fourth containing 15 additional animal models plus an index
is planned for 1975. An annual short course (3 days) in
Comparative Pathology was offered for the second time this May.

3. The Laboratory Primate Newsletter, which now has a mailing
list of about 1,700 individuals and organizations. The Newsletter
provides information on maintenance, breeding, and procurement of
nonhuman primates for laboratory studies. It also serves as a
general source of information through announcement of meetings,



20






nomenclature changes, etc., and aids investigators by publishing
requests for materials.

TRAINING

Training in laboratory animal medicine is intended to prepare individuals
to provide professional care of the many species of laboratory animals,
to manage central animal resources, and to give special assistance to
investigators through superior knowledge of laboratory animal biology
and understanding of research methods. In addition, the trainees are
prepared to participate in the teaching of graduate students and young
investigators and to pursue their own research interests either as
independent investigators or as a member of a research team.

The Animal Resources Branch has supported training programs in laboratory
animal medicine since 1967. Seven programs and approximately 20 trainees
were supported during the current fiscal year . The programs are all
located in medical research environments. Diagnostic laboratories are
also supported in each. of these locations, and the laboratory resources
have provided major input to the training experience. In addition to the
training grant mechanism, the Branch supports training through the award
of individual postdoctoral fellowships (six currently active Fellows).
In some cases, these individuals have enrolled in ARB training programs.
Approximately half of the individuals seek more specialized research
training. These fellows have engaged in in-depth studies in a discipline
or specialty such as surgery, pathology, virology or physiology, through
which they can contribute to research animal resources.

Currently available figures indicate that 110 trainees and fellows have
completed training since the inception of training grants and fellow-
ships in laboratory animal science and medicine. Forty (40) of these
are employed by medical schools and 50 by other academic, research or
governmental organizations. The majority (62) are functioning as
directors or staff members of a vivarium; 41 are engaged in research
or are obtaining additional training; and 7 are engaged in public health
and other activities. Retention in the field of laboratory animal
medicine has been excellent, emphasizing the career orientation
provided by the training and the continuing need and opportunities
available for such individuals.

The attraction of well qualified and motivated individuals to the field
of laboratory animal medicine has been a continuing problem, particularly
over the past several years. In an effort to help this situation, the
Branch, this year, has encouraged existing training programs and
diagnostic resources to employ veterinary students during their summer
break. It is hoped that this work experience will result in greater
knowledge and interest in the field. Development of a "pool" of such
individuals for future postdoctoral training should result in long term
benefits to the field. Reaction during the first year is highly
encouraging as some 41 students inquired about opportunities and
approximately 20 will be employed at 11 different institutions.



21



In the fall of 1974, a new National Research Service Award Program was
announced. This program replaces all previous training authorities
which terminated July 12, 1974 with the passage of the National Research
Service Awards Act (Public Law 93-348) . As currently active training
programs reach the end of their project period, they will have to
compete under the provisions of the new authority. The main changes
in the new authority are a requirement for recipients (institutional or
individual fellows) of NRS Awards to engage in biomedical research or
teaching for a period equal to their period of support and a limitation of
25% of the total award for other than trainee costs (institutional programs)
Two programs submitted institutional applications for the June Council
competition. Additional receipt dates have not been announced and the
future of institutional programs supported by NIH is somewhat uncertain
since the authority resulting from PL 93-348 was limited to one year.
Additional questions to be resolved include the desirability of limiting
the proportion of funds awarded to institutional programs compared to
individual fellowship awards and the manpower requirements in various
research fields that would justify federal training support. The changes
and uncertainties surrounding the training programs have made it difficult
for them to plan programs and attract well qualified students. If this
continues, it will adversely affect research animal resources.

RESEARCH CONTRACTS



The Animal Resources Branch has used the research contract mechanism as
an adjunct to its resource grant programs to support specific essential
services or to initiate activity in vital resource areas that have not
responded or are not eligible to respond to the grant mechanism. Research
contract funds for ARB in FY 1975 were about $1,300,000, including $300,000
transferred from The National Institute of Neurological and Communicative
Disorders and Stroke (NINCDS) for support of the Caribbean Primate Center.
Ten projects were supported. These contract projects are in the following
area:

PARTIAL SUPPORT FOR THE INSTITUTE OF LABORATORY ANIMAL RESOURCES

The Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources (ILAR) is a subsidiary of
the National Academy of Sciences, established as a coordinating agency
to disseminate information, survey existing and required animal resources,
establish standards and promote education in the field of laboratory
animal science. Since July 1953, ILAR has received financial support
from NIH. These activities are a valuable adjunct to the Animal Resources
Branch program. The ILAR meets ARB needs for writing standards and guide-
lines for animal facilities and care, furnishing information on sources
and users of laboratory animals, and providing survey information on the
status of animal resources. Special activities include an information
service on the sources and availability of over 450 animals models and
genetic stocks and a field survey on the abundance and distribution of
primates of biomedical interest in selected areas in South America. A
special activity, completed this year, has been a survey and analysis of
use of primates for research and a study to provide information for
planning numbers and species of primates which should be bred in this



22



country. The final report has been received and it will be very useful
in planning primate supply programs.

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR ACCREDITATION OF LABORATORY ANIMAL CARE (AAALAC)

The Animal Resources Branch is providing, through a small contract, partial
support for site visits that are conducted as part of the AAALAC accreditation
program. This effort is important to maintain quality in the accreditation
program. NIH officially recognizes AAALAC accreditation as meeting the
requirements of its policy on the care and treatment of laboratory animals.

MARICULTURE OF MARINE INVERTEBRATES

The Animal Resources Branch has awarded two complementary contracts for
laboratory breeding. and rearing of Aplysia and related species. These
marine mollusks are used in a variety of biomedical studies and are
becoming increasingly difficult to obtain from nature (the principal
supplier now "rations" the animals to researchers). It is felt that, with
two or three years' effort, it is feasible to establish laboratory culture
of these species, thereby assuring a supply of high quality animals. Both
contractors, Pacific Biomarine Inc. and The University of Hawaii, are
making good progress toward this goal.

CARIBBEAN PRIMATE CENTER

This primate resource is being supported by funds transferred from NINCDS
which formerly supported the Center. The Center includes several
semi-free ranging primate colonies on islands off the coast of Puerto Rico.
The Center is a valuable resource for research on social behavior and
neurologic behavioral relationships and has the potential to be an
important breeding center. The breeding potential is, in part, being
realized as the Bureau of Biologies, FDA, awarded a contract which
supports production of 500 rhesus monkeys per year, and additional
animals are being bred under contract from NINCDS.

RHESUS MONKEY BREEDING

The Animal Resources Branch has awarded three contracts for the domestic
production of rhesus monkeys. This is part of an effort to assure a
supply of primates for essential biomedical activities in the face of
drastically curtailed importation of wild caught animals. When they come
into full production in three to four years, these colonies are expected
to produce about one-third of the rhesus monkeys required for NIH extra-
mural programs. The oldest and largest of these three colonies is the
Charles River Breeding Laboratories in the Florida Keys. This free
ranging island colony currently has 800 breeding animals and about 125
infants were born this year. The colony is targeted for 1500 breeders
producing 1000 animals annually. The second colony is the Hazelton
Laboratories colony in Texas. The breeders of this colony are housed in
corn crib structures. It presently has 300 breeding animals and is targeted
to have 900 breeders producing 500 offspring annually. The third colony
is the Litton-Bionetics colony in South Carolina. This colony is housed

23



!
i









in sheltered outdoor runs. It currently has 260 of an anticipated 620
breeders which will produce 400 animals annually. About 50 babies were
born this year.

SQUIRREL MONKEY BREEDING

Late in the fiscal year, the Animal Resources Branch awarded two contracts
for domestic breeding of squirrel monkeys. Next to the rhesus, squirrel
monkeys are the most commonly used primate in biomedical activities.
The prime sources of these animals, Peru and Colombia, have virtually
stopped exportation of them in the past year. Animals can still be
obtained from Guyana and Bolivia but these sources are not secure. The
ARB contract projects are expected to produce 400 squirrel monkeys
annually .

ADMINISTRATION

Primate supply problems continued to be a focus of administrative activity
in Fiscal Year 1975. Bans on exporting of animals from Brazil, Colombia,
and Peru continued in effect. Late in the fiscal year, we were informed
that the Government of India was reducing the quota for export of rhesus
monkeys from 30,000 to 20,000 annually. Other nations are considering
restriction of primate exports, and chimpanzees will probably be placed
on the endangered species list. All this has made development of plans
for domestic production, agreements with foreign governments for primate
supply, and conservation of use of primates of critical importance. In
order to co-ordinate various primate supply activities, the Assistant
Secretary for Health has appointed a Primate Steering Committee with NIH
as the lead agency. This Committee will also co-ordinate with other
government agencies that use primates. The Committee was fortunate to
obtain the services of Dr. Benjamin Blood to provide staff leadership.
The Animal Resources Branch is providing office space and secretarial
assistance to Dr. Blood, and is in the forefront of domestic breeding
and conservation of use programs .

Another administrative activity has been the establishment of a Research
Career Development Award (RCDA) program. The Branch received approval to
announce such a program in January, 1975, and the first applications
were received on May 1, 1975. The RCDA provides salary support for
individuals that have had at least three years post doctoral experience
and have demonstrated potential for development into creative independent
investigators. The purpose is to increase the number of first rate
investigators who have, as their career goal, research on laboratory
animal resource problems.



24



TABLE I - Primate Research Centers Program Applications , FY 1975

Number Amount Number Amount Number Amount
Type Received Requested^ ' Approved Approved^ -' Funded Funded^ -'

New - - - - - -

Renewal 1 1,727,156 1 1,504,552 1 1,452,228

Supplemental - - - - •

Continuation 6 12,876,984 6 11,404,435 6 9,693,772

Totals 7 14,604,140 7 12,908,987 7 11,146,000

1/ Direct Costs Only

2/ Includes Indirect Costs

TABLE II - Laboratory Animal Sciences Program Applications , FY 1975





Number


Amount


Number


Amount


Number


Amount


Type


Received


Requested^'


Approved


Appro vedi'


Funded


Funded?/


New


45


4,053,288


28


2,314,848


27


2, 836, 766^


Renewal


8


1,099,216


5


329,476


5


438,795


Supplemental


9


201,372


8


188,357


8


240,847


Continuation


48


2,705,679


48


2,004,424


47


2,665,236


Totals


110


8,059,555


89


4,837,105


88


6,180,844



1/ Direct Costs Only

2/ Includes Indirect Costs

_3/ Includes 5 Prior Year Approvals at $451,199

TABLE III - T raining Grant Applications in Laboratory Animal Medicine , FY 1975





Number


Amount


Number


Amount


Number


Amount


Type


Received


Requested^'


App


roved


Approved^/


Funded


Funded?/


New


2


163,523




2


95,406


2


103,038


Renewal


-


-




-


-


-


-


Supplemental


-


-




-


-


-


-


Continuation


4


313,092




4


247,153


4


256,621


Totals


6


476,615




6


342,559


6


359,659



1/ Direct Costs Only

2/ Includes Indirect Costs

TABLE IV - Fellowship Applications in Laboratory Animal Science , FY 1975





Number


Number


Number


Amount


Type


Received


App


roved


Funded


Funded


New


5




3


1


27,738


Renewal


-




-


-


-


Supplemental


-




-


-


-


Continuation


5




5


5


21,111


Totals


10




8


6


48,849



25



TABLE V - Laboratory Animal Sciences P rogram Resource and Research Grants ,
Project Distribution , FY 1 975



Number



Amount



Number



Amount



Number Amount



T^oe

Basic Improvement
Special Colonies

and Models
Primate Resources
Resource Research
Diagnostic Labs
Reference & Info.



Received Requested— ' Ap proved Approved— ' Fund ed Funded— ' -



3/



42 3,188,025



26
1

17

18

6



1,645,629

22,195

1,265,469

1,559,287

378,951



Totals 110 8,059,555



37

22
1
10
13
_6
89



2,145,733

1,095,217

11,098

380,496

851,322

353,239

4,837,105



38

21
2
9
13
_5
88



2,581,834

1,267,019

118,615

490,115

1,216,661

50 6,600

6,180,844



1/ Direct Costs Only

If Includes Indirect Costs

3/ Includes Prior Year Approvals

TABLE VI - Laboratory Animal Sciences Program , Research Utilization of
Selected Animal Resource Colonies, FY 1975



No. of
Colonies

14



No. of
N IH Grants

70



Dollar Amt. of NIH
Grants in $1, OOP's

$5,331



No. Other Dollar Amt. Other
Projects Projects in $1, OOP's

130 $3,400



26






Fiscal Year 1975 Annual Report
Biotechnology Resources Branch
Division of Research Resources

The Biotechnology Resource is a vehicle through which the physical sciences,
mathematics, and engineering are interfaced to biology and medicine. Such a
resource combines expensive equipment, complex methodologies, and scarce ex-
pertise to facilitate the solution of important medical problems. A continuous
effort to meet program goals is maintained within each resource by (1) providing
services to the biomedical research community; (2) engaging in collaborative
research arrangements with appropriate scientists; (3) engaging in core research
and development designed to provide new technological opportunities for the
research community and/or increase the usefulness of existing technology; and
(4) providing training opportunities to the user community so that they can
better understand the technology and apply it more effectively to their own
research problems.

During the past few years it has become increasingly apparent that even some of
the most distinguished biomedical research institutions throughout the country
are unable to provide their member scientists with either up-to-date, health-
relevant, research tools or the opportunity to collaborate with innovative
experts at the technology /medicine interface. Accordingly, a concerted effort
in Biotechnology Resource Sharing was initiated and promoted during FY 1974 and
will continue for the foreseeable future. The objective is to effect a more
nearly equitable distribution of highly specialized research support capabilities
in the nation, including especially those institutions having limited biotech-
nology capabilities but strong biomedical research programs and compelling bio-
technology needs.



STATE OF THE PROGRAM

BASIC DATA

The variety of supported Biotechnology Resources and the diversity of assistance
they provide the research community are shown by the following classification of
the 47 grants and five contracts active during FY 1975.

17 computer resource grants

17 biomolecular characterization resource grants
1 resource-related project in biomolecular

characterization
6 biomedical image and image processing resource

grants
1 resource-related project in biomedical image

and image processing
5 biomedical engineering and other resource grants
1 electron microscopy services contract
4 clinical research data management and analysis
developmental contracts



27







The aggregate annual expenditure level for these activities is approximately
$12 million. A listing of the BRB sponsored activities active during FY 1975
is given in Table I. A brief description of each Resource's capabilities,
highlighted with an example of its application, is included in Table Ila-d.
The interaction of the Biotechnology Resources Program with other NIH programs
is shown in Table III .

It is particularly interesting to view the Biotechnology Resources Program in
historical perspective. In 1967, for example, 61 resources were supported at
a cost of $12.2 million. These resources fell into the following categories:

48 computer resources

10 biochemistry instrumentation resources
3 biological materials resources

Both the numbers and the substantive nature of each type of resource have changed
greatly during the intervening years, especially in the computer resource cate-
gory. Compared to the 28 batch-processing or off-line, general-purpose computer
installations in 1967, the Program had only one resource of this type in 1975.
Whereas in 1967 the average annual award for a computer resource was about
$174,000, it was approximately $346,000 in 1975. There seems to be little doubt
that the ever more sophisticated computational needs of biomedical scientists
are requiring highly specialized resources and not general-purpose ones.

Rapid and far-reaching change is not limited to the computer resource category.
For example, as the requisite talent becomes available to manage mass spectrom-
eters in a variety of biomedical settings, there is a strong trend toward the
use of these instruments in clinical investigation, such as the study of meta-
bolic errors in infants. It is also of interest to note that, unlike even a
few years ago, all of the biochemistry instrumentation resources now contain a
dedicated computer for reduction of data to a manageable form. Similarily,
almost exclusively as a result of efforts by the Biotechnology Resources Program
in the past several years, high voltage (i.e., one-million volt) electron
microscopy services have become a reality in the United States and are now being
applied for such purposes as obtaining stereo micrographs of thick-sectioned
biological material and examining the surfaces and contacts of intact wet cells
in a hydration chamber.



BIOTECHNOLOGY RESOURCE SHARING

The succeeding sections will describe representative biotechnology resource
activities in several areas. It is obvious that these biomedical research
activities are of great value to their respective research communities. It is
also apparent that these research communities are especially fortunate in having
these excellent opportunities immediately available.

Because these highly specialized resources are both expensive and dependent on
critical assemblies of scarce talent, only a few medical research centers having
needs for them can be accommodated by the BRB, using traditional program support
mechanisms, within present and foreseeable funding constraints.



28



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Online LibraryNational Institutes of Health (U.S.) Division of RReport of program activities : National Institutes of Health. Division of Research Resources (Volume 1975) → online text (page 14 of 34)