The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is opening the doors of its Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research on Friday, April 24, between 3 and 7 pm. The open house is designed to let the community witness the work conducted at the center, as well as increase knowledge on the importance of supporting research.
Focused on comparative research, the Keeling Center currently includes about 2,000 animals from 12 different species, which are used in biomedical studies to increase knowledge not only on cancer, but also on other conditions, such as hepatitis, HIV, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, as well as vaccine development, immunology, autoimmunity, aging and behavior.
Researchers at the center work with chimpanzees, rhesus monkeys, squirrel monkeys, owl monkeys, sheep, cattle, swine, goats and rodents with the main purpose of improving prevention, diagnosis and treatment of these conditions. Over 100 veterinarians, animal caregivers, research technicians, administrative staff care and other employees are responsible for the investigations, while ensuring the well-being of the animals.
“We welcome our Central Texas neighbors to visit and learn about the important research that we do at the Keeling Center to improve medical care by increasing our understanding of human disease,” stated the director of the Keeling Center and chair of Veterinary Sciences at MD Anderson, Christian Abee, DVM in a press release. “Our open house is one way we help the public understand important life-saving research in their community and thank them for their support.”
Between the open hours of the center, visitors can take a walking or abbreviated bus tour, as well as attend research exhibits, demonstrations or the interactive lab for school-age students. During the tours, visitors will pass through the 73,000-square-foot Comparative Medicine Research Building (CMRB), which is the central hub of the campus, as well as through research labs and colonies of rhesus monkeys, chimpanzees, squirrel monkeys and owl monkeys.
In addition to research, the Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research is also dedicated to training undergraduate, graduate and veterinary medical students from different academic facilities, such as The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University. The center was inaugurated in 1975 and it has ever since supported projects from 21 MD Anderson departments and 29 other institutions and agencies, research that has contributed to advance health care in numerous fields.